Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bookstores and Libraries

All through college, bookstores were like a sanctuary for me.  Well, one bookstore in particular: JosephBeth's in Lexington.  I drove up there many times from campus when I was sad or lonely or something, and it always made me feel better.  I was delighted to get to go back there last fall when I was in Kentucky for a fabulous wedding (haha--since you may be the only one who reads this blog--I thought I'd give you a shout out).  

Anyway, the bookstore obsession continues, and I try to frequent local, or at least semi-local bookstores as  much as I can (although Borders and Barnes and Noble continue to be enjoyable).  My love of used book stores was fostered in London I believe.  The British equivalent of Borders, Waterstones, was exciting for a while, but after being there for a month or so it just felt like another, well, Borders.  (I did continue to stalk a book in the Waterstones across the street from where we had classes until the last week in London, and then I bought it and subsequently read it cover to cover TWO times consecutively while we were in Italy).  Katie and I found a neat used book store on Euston I think?  Do you remember what it was called?  Then there was the Holy Grail of all book stores in Oxford:  Blackwells.  The guide book said it had the most mileage of bookshelves in the world.  It was quite something to see.  I bought a used Oscar Wilde book there.  

I read this one book in London, Elegance, that was about a women who happened upon the original Elegance in a used bookstore and it changed her life.  I own the original now, too, and while it wasn't life-altering, it's a good read.  That's one of my secret (or now not so secret) dreams.  I want to stumble upon an old book in a used book store, perhaps with a history of its own, and then read it and have some sort of significant experience with it.  I watched Definitely, Maybe a few months ago and the search for the Jane Eyre book that April's father inscribed to her was pretty cool.  It kind of made me want to collect every used copy of a particular book I can find.  I just don't know what book it would be.  And that would probably add to my clutter problem.  That whole part of the movie reminded me of Serendipity.  Also, Larry McMurtry's, Books, made me want to be a book collector.  Oh dear.  My book shelves are groaning at the very thought.  Books, is excellent by the way--I suggest it to bibliophiles everywhere.  

In Atlanta, I've really only become attached to one bookstore, Eagle Eye, but it's a wonderful place to find used books.  Also, Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party, but that's not technically a book store.  I'll have to find another one in Austin, although I'm already excited about BookPeople.  

Then there's Amazon, which is a whole other problem for my wallet, but I've long since gotten over my bias against used books on there and that saves some money (and trees!!).  I guess I was just worried about not being able to see the book first, but I've rarely been disappointed.  

I also really want to be a part of a book club.  I've been in the Kappa book club here in Atlanta, but I'll need a new one when I move...

Now to the other part of the post: Libraries.  Although my obsession with books and bookstores has been festering for a long while now, I've only begun to truly appreciate libraries in the last couple of years.  I don't think I ever set foot inside the Danville Public Library, although I heard it was lovely.  I've been quite a frequent user of the DeKalb County Public Library system though and I love it.  The fact that I can request books online is extra special.  Also, the library cards are really cute (and I get a mini one for my key ring!!).  But really I love the chance to read more books without having to buy them.  Don't get me wrong, I will always buy/collect/hoard books, but at least the library has helped me curb the addiction a little bit.  It's also awesome for movies and audio books!  I get a few RSS feeds about libraries and I just caught the tail end of The Librarian on TNT, and while it's not really that much about books, it did inspire me to write this whole post.  The historical aspect of it was cool.  I do think doing research in a public library (for fun, not a paper) would be awesome.  I just need to pick a topic and start reading.  

Speaking of reading, I've completely neglected the books I'm supposed to read for tomorrow for all these other books, so I should wrap it up.  There's always more that could be said about books.  


WhimsAndInconsistencies said...

1. I have that some photo! Maybe because I was standing next to you taking my photo as you were taking yours. What a splendid place! I think that's where I got a Jane Austen trivia book.
2. Thanks for the shout out on how fabulous my wedding was.
3. No clue what the used book store near our flat was called, but it was awesome.
4. Definitely/Maybe is in my Netflix queue, I think in the top 20.
5.I think you went with Sherry and I to the Danville library because they used to have a bunny you could pet and I think that's why we went there.
6. Watch this video:
You'll like the whole video, but I'm linking it because of the home library tour at the end. Exciting!
7. I love libraries, but I have a difficult time with library books. I tend to enjoy what I read and then I want to keep it. Currently I've gotten so many books that I haven't read and I've been such a lazy reader (Might be the top thing I don't like about myself, after the acne-prone face.) that I'm just trying to read all the books I've owned so I haven't had to decide where to go for books to read, which is nice and lame all at the same time. My senior year of high school I got on this kick where I would like what I was reading, have to use little strips of paper to mark the pages I liked, and then go buy it and highlight it. But used books are fun. I recently drenched my Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay, so now it smells and looks used, which cheers me up slightly about the incident.

Caitlin said...

1. Yes, that's a good photo. I think you did get a Jane Austen book there.
2. Your wedding was indeed lovely.
3. I don't either and it makes me sad because I feel like it was clever.
4. I think you will like Definitely/Maybe. If not for the story, which was okay, definitely for the Jane Eyre story line.
5. No, I don't recall a bunny at the library. I don't think I ever went.
6. I'm writing a paper now (well, supposed to be) so I'll check out the video soon. Thanks!
7. At least check out libraries for their audio book potential. And for books you're not sure you are going to like...