Your Favorite Bookstore

ImagePhoto Credit: BookRiot

There once was a time in which a reader had many options as to where to buy his or her next book, at least here in the US. We had Borders, and Barnes and Noble, a number of indie bookstores, Book-A-Million, and then of course, Amazon. Okay, that wasn’t quite as many as I thought, but let’s move on. I’ve pretty much gone through every bookstore I have over here at some point in time.

Way back in my high school years when I first started buying books for myself, I’d go to Barnes and Noble and do what millions of others do everyday, I’d find my next book. I wouldn’t go with a specific author in mind or a book or anything. I’d just browse the mystery section and take a chance on something that caught my eye. But this didn’t last. Barnes and Noble charges full list price for books, and I can’t be the only one who doesn’t have eight or nine dollars every time I want to buy a paperback. So I switched.

Then came the days of going to Borders. This was in the year or two leading up to their bankruptcy. They would email me coupons every week for 30-40% off any item. I mean, yes, please! AND if they didn’t have the book in store, I could order online and have it delivered to the store for free. I remember getting several books for a whopping $5.21 after the discount. I know I’m an author and all that, but you CANNOT pass that kind of deal up. But then the company closed its doors and I made a dash to the store located about seconds from my house. I think I bought five books that day.

Then came Amazon. See, I knew I didn’t want to go back to Barnes and Noble, but I’d never bought anything from Amazon before. My apprehension soon faded when I realized that Amazon had a buy 3, get fourth free deal on millions of paperbacks! It was almost too good to be true. But I took advantage of this deal more times than I can possibly recount now. And I thought four books at a time was the perfect number. But then like all good things in life, the deal came to an end. It was roughly at the start of 2013 or the end of 2012 that they did away with the deal. I’ve read on forums that people were livid that Amazon could do this. I wasn’t all that upset, Amazon is a business, right? Imagine the millions of free books they’d given away during the time of their promotion.

Then came another switch. I’d known forever that Wal-Mart sold books online, I’d even bought one before several years ago. But I never knew how cheap they were! Wal-Mart was cheaper than Borders (with their coupons) and Amazon with the 4-3 deal. How!? Around the holiday season last year, they ran a promotion in which all books available in their online store were 40% off. That meant that most titles would drop to $4.79! Yes, I was in heaven. And yes, I bought a lot of books before that promotion also eventually ended. Now I’m back with Amazon. But I no longer buy three or four books at a time. Mostly just one or two. Which is fine since I’m hardly reading anyway.

So now you know my journey through all the bookstores I’ve known, what’s your favorite bookstore?

Advertisements

114 thoughts on “Your Favorite Bookstore

  1. The Strand in NYC! Ok so I’ve only been there once… We don’t even have a bookstore where I live. I’d love to go visit a tiny old bookstore full of used books. For now, I just download books from Amazon or get paperbacks from the library šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Borders. Now I don’t even get to go to a bookstore because they’re all a good distance away. There used to be a little hole in the wall book store in downtown but they closed. I hate that all the bookstores are closing. One day there will be none and we will just be telling stories of the forgotten old bookstores that seem like dinosaurs to children with today’s technology. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like reading books on electronic devices.

    Like

    • I have a Kindle but I don’t use it. There’s a Barnes and Noble like five miles from my house, but I’d rather just buy books from Amazon. But yes, bookstores are becoming rare. It hurts my heart. šŸ˜¦

      Like

      • I feel the same way. I miss being able to go in a bookstore and just wander aimlessly for hours without question on what the heck I’m doing. I miss the smell of coffee from whatever coffee chain was connected to that store. I miss sitting on the floor with ten different books around me trying to pick just one as that’s all I could afford to get but they were all so good! I also miss all the little knick knacks that I couldn’t resist buying as they were so cute! haha.

        Like

      • I used to wander a bit. But I never read books at the store. Just the back covers. BUT I know gazillions of people do that everyday. And they should be able to!

        Like

      • Yup! I’m definitely going to miss the days of the good ol’ bookstore. Speaking of, I’m going to the mall sometime this week and they have a barnes and noble in there so I think I’m going to stop by there and see if I can find a book I’ve been looking for.

        Like

      • Do it! It’ll probably make you happy. And you’ll likely get a new book out of it. šŸ™‚

        Like

  3. My favorite book store was Haslams in St. Petersburg, FL. It is great has both new and used books and a huge variety! I also enjoyed a bookstore, I forget it’s name, in Nashville, Tennessee, the only thing I really remember about it was it was near David Lipscombe or Vanderbilt Universities and it had a wine bar on the first floor. I was a really neat bookstore.

    Like

  4. My favorite book store was this little used book shop that was right beside my local library. They ended up closing because the owner got really sick. I used to love Books-A-Million, they always had the best organized shelves. Then they closed down. Now I go to a book store called Mr. K’s and it is one beautiful book store. I have never paid more than 10 dollars for a book and I buy a lot of hard back books. All the books are used, but they are in very good condition.
    I also hit up my local flea market (I call them jockey lots but no one ever knows what that is). There are so many people that have stacks and stacks of books for me to dig through. There is no method to the madness. They just put out the books and you have to go through them. I never go there with a certain book in mind. Actually, I never go anywhere other than Amazon with a certain book in mind. lol

    Like

    • Mr. K’s sounds like a cereal. Haha. I never buy used books. They look bad on my shelf. The spines are are worn. The pages yellowed. I just don’t like them because other people don’t take care of their books like I do.

      Like

  5. I’ve remained a dedicated B&N buyer, I move around a lot and there are different stores everywhere but there always seems to be a B&N and I love continuity. I also have a Nook, so that keeps me with them now too. My favorite thing to do when the summer was starting was when my parents would take me to B&N, and besides my schools required reading, I would get a bunch of books to occupy my time during the break, so maybe nostalgia is a factor as well. . .

    Like

  6. Maya Books in Historic Sanford, Florida. Dusty, packed with books from floor to ceiling, and filled with the kind of books that belong in history. And there’s an old dog that sleeps on the floor near the entrance, for good measure.

    Like

  7. I’ll admit that I frequent Barnes and Noble, but the one near my apartment has a used book section! Score! There are also lots of small used book stores near me, and I always go to the library when they have their used book sales.

    Aside from that, I use Amazon fairly frequently, as well. Whenever I can get a deal I go for it.

    Like

      • Haha!! Really?? Since I’m such a voracious reader, I can’t afford to buy all new books or else I’d go bankrupt. I don’t make enough money to get my fix of new books, so used works great. Why don’t you like them? Are you a germaphobe?

        Like

      • No. They’re ugly. No one takes care of their books like I do. I think I have five. You would think someone was trying to rip them apart by the shape they’re in.

        Like

      • Wow. That’s interesting. I own at least 50 used books and only two that I can think of were like that. And since I’m so nuts about books, I don’t buy the ones that look like junk. The used section at Barnes and Noble doesn’t even accept used books unless they’re in good condition. So that’s nice.

        But I agree that, in general, people don’t care for their books as they should.

        Like

      • Well I think I might take a different approach if I bought them in person. Mine are from Amazon and Abebooks. There’s only so much I can take from “good” or “like new.” They’re never what they say.

        Like

      • That’s a bummer. When I buy on amazon, I usually buy new. I’ve never used Abebooks.

        Like

      • I do too. But these were books that were unavailable elsewhere. I asked the author in person about where to find them and he told me.

        Like

      • Ooooo… You’re bold. I’ve never asked an author where to look. Never even thought to. I’ll have to try it sometime.

        Like

      • I had all his other books. And he was signing my others so I was like…what the heck? He actually didn’t give me the answer. The store owner did. It was better than me standing there awkwardly trying not to look stupid in front of one of my favorite authors ever. Haha

        Like

      • šŸ™‚ I’m sure you didn’t look stupid.

        Like

      • Yes I did. There was another author and everyone had books by both. I’d never even heard of the other guy. Haha

        Like

      • Ha! Oh well!

        Like

      • Always laughing at me. šŸ˜¦ Oh! Tell me more fun stories! Haha please. Then I can laugh at you. šŸ˜‰

        Like

      • Okay. I’m about to drive home from work. I’ll think of some on the way and get back to ya.

        Like

      • Perfect. And they better be good ones since you get to think about it. šŸ™‚

        Like

      • GAH! THE PRESSURE!!

        Um… I guess the first one is when I went to a restaurant/bar with some grad school buddies after our gross anatomy lab. We all had a drink. I ordered a Sloe Gin fizz. Look it up. Very red/purple. I had on a white top. You can probably do the math. So after I spilled it all over my white top, they replaced it for free. And, of course, I spilled that one, as well. Like, a minute later. And I’d only gotten a sip or two out of either of them. I don’t think I’ve touched Sloe Gin since. And yes, the shirt was ruined. All my grad school buddies still talk about that one.

        Another one… hmm… How about the time I tripped up the steps when making an entrance for a play I was in. I’ll also mention that I was a lead character. Nice. Falling smack on my noodle in the middle of a performance. Slick.

        Yet another one: The seam of my shorts split during cheerleading practice. Everyone saw/heard it. I couldn’t look people in the eye for a month.

        Satisfied?

        Like

      • Ahahaha your grand entrance! šŸ™‚ I don’t think I’ve ever ripped like my pants or anything. This doesn’t even come close, but in high school I was in a rush one morning and I had one leg in my jeans and my foot was standing on the other paint leg. When I pulled them on the zipper ripped right off. I think I missed school that day.

        As for the drinking one, well alcohol is stupid. So I blame you. Haha

        Like

      • You missed school for that? Man, you’re lucky. I had to endure the rest of the practice. My coach wouldn’t let me sit out. She was cruel.

        Like

      • I wasn’t lucky. I didn’t have any pants!

        That’s one of those times you go home and tell your mom and then wham, teacher on the news. Haha

        Like

      • Bahaha!!! Yeah, I see your point. Dude, you need to catch up to me in your stories. Am I really that much of a klutz? Or is it bad luck? Maybe I was meant to do those things. For the cheering up of others.

        Like

      • I’m sorry. I’m just boring so I have none. And you share so willingly. šŸ™‚

        Let me see. I drink a lot of milk. Like A LOT. And last night around two ish in the morning I knocked over my cup and half the table was covered in milk. I was sleepy. I didn’t yell out or move. I just sat there, staring at the milk wasted. Then finished what was still in my cup. Then cleaned it. How’s that?

        Like

      • Sigh. It’s okay. I guess. šŸ˜›

        And I don’t mind sharing. Most people get a good chuckle out of my stories, so I’m happy to share.

        Bummer about the milk. I can’t drink it anymore. Sad face! I loved milk! So I’ll have to enjoy it vicariously through you. So don’t waste any more of it!

        Like

      • I don’t really like it. But when I’m always eating or hungry, it’s the easiest calories I can find. Usually my first and last “meal” of the day. And more.

        It want another story!

        And I am boring. You’re just nice.

        Like

      • You want ANOTHER story? Jeez. I know I’m nowhere close to tapped out there, but I’ve got to turn on the afterburners in my hippocampus to get those memories to the surface. One sec…
        .
        .
        .
        .

        Okay. Got one. Every time there’s a ball being thrown around at a game, it’s liable to hit my head. I’m serious. When I played volleyball, at least twice a week, I’d get hit in the head by the ball. That didn’t happen to anybody else on my team.
        A few examples:
        I was at a work picnic two years ago and some kids were playing with a football. I told my colleague: “Watch. That ball will hit my head some time this evening.” She didn’t believe me. Not 20 minutes later, what do you think happened? Hmm?

        I told some other work friends about my issues and they laughed. We went to a baseball game after that and, each time there was a foul ball, it came closer and closer to our section. And towards my head. I didn’t get hit, but my friends were sufficiently weirded out.

        Oh! There was also the time I was walking off the volleyball court after a timeout was called by the ref, and the silly girl serving the ball from the opposite team still served. Hello? Was she deaf? Anywho, I was following my teammates and the ball hit me square on the noggin. Knocked my glasses off and they slid across the court. (I’ve since switched to contacts). Did I get an apology? No.

        Weird, right? I have henceforth stayed away from games that involve a ball. Oddly enough, hockey pucks stay away. Maybe that’s why I love hockey so much.

        Now laugh away!

        (And I’m not THAT nice).

        Like

      • Ahahaha my first thought when I started reading this was, “I hope she doesn’t go to baseball games!” Luckily, you weren’t hit. Just take a helmet whenever you go to a game. šŸ™‚

        Lies.

        Like

      • I’m weird enough without adding a helmet to it.

        And I don’t lie. So there!

        Like

      • Yeah. A helmet would bring some stares your way.

        Everyone lies. Especially fiction writers!

        Like

      • Man, you’re one tough cookie.

        Like

      • And right. šŸ™‚

        Like

      • I didn’t say that, did I? šŸ™‚

        Like

      • Well I read it somewhere. Eh. Doesn’t matter who says it. šŸ™‚

        Like

      • And you’re not boring.

        Like

  8. There is this old house-turned-bookstore a little over an hour north from where I live. The entire house is all floor-to-ceiling books on every topic you can imagine!! (Cookbooks are conveniently located in the kitchen! ;)) anyways–it’s so cute and cozy with big easy chairs and places to sit and read.

    Like

  9. I’m still with Amazon. What I discovered was Prime. For $79 a year I can download one book a month FREE. But that’s not the best deal. The best is that I can get two-day shipping on anything I buy from Amazon or any of their affiliates also for Free. If you buy lots of stuff online like I do, the Free shipping alone pays for Prime. Now I get 12 books a year free. Not only that but I can also watch a very large selection of videos, again, for Free. Prime from Amazon. It’s like being given free money.

    Like

  10. I LOVED Borders when it was here in the UK before it went bankrupt. I still miss it. But these days I buy mostly ebooks for my Kindle. I do still read traditional books, I mix the two types up, but actually generally I prefer my Kindle (shock, horror!!). It’s lighter and can fit in my handbag lol. šŸ™‚

    Like

  11. I miss Borders! It was my favorite. I have this dilemma because I love going to bookstores, and the physical place, rather than simply ordering online, and I like to own them rather than just borrow (plus most libraries aren’t nearly as current), but I really don’t have the money to drop $20 or even $10 on a book as much as I like to read them. I’ve switched a lot to Kindle, the 2.99 books and so on, so it’s not a huge investment. But I still love my print books. I usually order off Amazon and lump it in with other stuff so free shipping, or go to Barnes and Noble right after I get my paycheck šŸ™‚ I also need to try Half Price Books more..

    Like

  12. The best bookstore in the world is Powell’s Books here in Portland, OR. It’s the largest independent chain and its main store is an entire city block and 4 stories high. Its other locations in the surrounding Portland area are huge, too. If you’re ever in Portland it’s pretty much mandatory to visit Powell’s.

    Like

    • Look who’s back! šŸ™‚ You’ve been absent from my blog forever! Anyway, what else is there in Porland besides fancy bookstores? Cause that’d be quite the trip just for that. And it’s cold.

      Like

      • Yep, I’ve been ignoring my blog for the time being haha. And Portland isn’t cold, it’s actually pretty muggy at the moment! Maybe sometimes in the winter it’s cold but the climate is quite mild. If you come to Portland you’ll want to go to Voodoo donuts and all the hipster places that Portland is famous for. Have you seen the TV show Portlandia? We’re a very distinct culture here ahaha :p

        Like

      • Yeah right. It’s like 90 here everyday. I’m not leaving. Haha. Of ALL the places you could have said you say a donut place? Haha and I haven’t seen it. Oh well.

        Like

      • Google Voodoo donuts and you’ll understand why I bring it up. šŸ˜‰ And youtube Portlandia. You’ll slowly begin to understand what we’re about over here in the Pacific NW. šŸ˜€

        Like

      • That’s too much work. I like Texas just fine. Haha

        Like

      • I’ve been to Texas. You’re missing out, but suit yourself. šŸ˜‰

        Like

      • Texas > rest of the world

        Like

  13. I have some great independent bookstores near me. My favourite, Pulp Fiction, specialises in fantasy/scifi/mystery/thriller. There’s a couple of second-hand stores, one in a gorgeous old building with literally over a million books on shelves that go all the way to the ceiling and have holes cut out for the ceiling fans. The atmosphere is so great in there. And it smells beautiful because they’re got antiques as well as second-hand modern books.

    When Borders went broke and closed my city’s store I almost cried. It was the only big book store we had and was great for filling in a couple of hours because they didn’t mind if you sat down and read the books in the store. It was almost like a library (which is probably why they went broke, now I think about it).

    Like

  14. The library! I say this as a former bookseller/bookstore manager, too. I LOVE bookstores, particularly independents, but with a reading habit like mine the library and its inter-loan program is fabulous.
    Favorite *actual* stores? Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA or Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. I’m ok with Barnes & Noble, too. It’s hard for me to dislike any place full of books.

    Like

  15. There was a second hand book shop in Sherwood, just outside Nottingham, recently closed that was epic! Ladders everywhere for customers to utilise to find books, obscure tomes, first editions, annuals, magazines, old bibles and dictionaries of many languages. It was great but now it has sadly been edged out of business…I await the backlash against these companies with some excitment.

    Like

    • Oooh. That doesn’t sound like any bookstore I’ve been to. It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t able to survive. šŸ˜¦

      Like

      • The joys of British second hand places are the musty smell of books, walls and walls of volumes haphazardly placed making it a joy to delve and come up with new treasures…it’s another world to be kneeling down, backside in the air, in dark corners using your phone as a makeshift torch to get at the well hidden books. That’s where i found my copy of Abelard and Heloise!

        Like

      • I’ve never done that. But I bet it’d be fun!

        Like

  16. Mine is definitely Waterstones. I don’t know if its just in the UK but they offer a loyalty card where you can save up points which equate to money and you can redeem them in the future to money off books. Plus there is nearly always a buy one get one half price offer one. The environment is also really nice. Its always chilled out and a nice place to be.

    Like

  17. I loved Borders! They had more of a relaxed and welcoming feel than Barnes and Noble. I currently buy from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

    Like

  18. Barnes and Noble will always be my favorite bookstore–I just like the atmosphere! I hope bookstores are always around because I’ve come across articles that say they will be replaced with online stores, which is unfortunate if that happens because I prefer to see and preview books as I like before buying them.

    Like

    • But every Barnes and Noble is the same. They’re okay.

      Like

      • That’s true. Where I live, there use to be several local bookstores, but it they all closed–probably due to the popularity of larger chains like Barnes and Noble. I wish these bookstores were still around because it seems like the only bookstore I know is Barnes and Noble! Maybe I need to venture farther away from my city to find other bookstores that might exist.

        Like

      • Yes you do! Go in a bookstore finding adventure!

        Like

  19. There is a really tiny bookstore in a city near my hometown, and it’s absolutely lovely. Floor to ceiling crammed with books, and geeky college kids like myself working there. It’s nice to pick up a drink at Starbucks and sit on a couch, reading a book I wouldn’t find anywhere else. They are a mostly used book store, which I think is quite interesting. I love being able to pick up a really old, well-loved book and wonder who read it before me. It’s a great place! I bought the Inheritance Series, Christopher Paolini, for just $15 total! And those books are very large, plus they are my all time favorite series.

    Like

  20. Pingback: Reading With HoloLens | Write me a book, John!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s