Monday, May 7, 2018

The Book Lover's Den No. 26: The Bookstore Blues?!

Welcome to my renewed literary musing feature! I have decided 
to post it on Mondays now!

In each weekly post, I explore 
my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.

This Week's Topic
 When you walk into a bookstore and you're just not (?!) in the mood
to buy a book.....apparently. 

I am fortunate enough to have a big, beautiful, two-floor Barnes & Noble store not too far from where my husband and I live. In fact, I affectionately call it "Paradise". Lol. And I have given it this nickname because the joy and lifting of spirits I feel when we pull up and I get down, approach the double doors, and pull on that handle, are just indescribable. If I have been in a funk, walking into this store is sure to get me feeling great again!

Inexplicably, however, there have been times in the past when I've arrived at this hallowed place of wonderful printed objects that one can pick up and peruse for hours at a time, if one wishes, and felt......nothing. No elation. No lifting of a negative mood, if I had been in one. No feeling of having "arrived home". Just.....nothing. Yes, I know....unbelievable, right?

At such times, I have wandered all over the store, from section to section, hoping to have a book call out to me. I don't always go to the Bargain Section first. I might wander over to the Christian section, then the New Age section (they're right next to each other), then go upstairs to the Young Adult section, then the Fantasy & SF section, which is right next to the YA section. And then I mosey on over to the Romance section. And nothing catches my eye. 

Alternatively, I might pick up a book, but then not be sure about it. Then I will move into another section of the store, pick up another book, and go put the first one back where I found it, only to dawdle, looking from one book to the other. I might then leave both on the shelf, or, in the end, take both of them with me, and find a chair to sit on somewhere, either in the Cafe, or next to the second-floor railing. 

Even after sitting down, though, I might feel a sudden restlessness. I might skim through one book, and then the other, and abruptly decide that I really don't want either one. Then I get up, put both books back, and wander all over the store again....

Before you know it, a store employee is making that fateful announcement that it's 10:45 PM, and the bookstore will be closing in 15 minutes, so all customers need to take their selections to the neartest cash register for purchasing..... And then I seem to wake up from some weird daze, and rush over to the Young Adult section, and just......stand there. I don't know what to pick. I want to buy SOME book, but just don't know which one to pick, even if I see books that I've already discovered on book blogs..... But then, I'm not really sure that I DO want to buy a book.

Finally, I get jolted again by the last announcement, and, in total despair, dejectedly walk toward those wonderful doors to "Paradise", without a B&N bag holding a new purchase and receipt inside.....or with no book and receipt stashed inside my purse.....

So what happened? I really don't know..... Could it be that I was simply not in the mood to buy a book? I usually have difficulty NOT buying books! This is especially so when I'm SURROUNDED by them. So how could it be that I sometimes actually walk out of that beautiful book paradise without having purchased one of those highly-addictive objects? What could possibly have gone wrong? Were my neurons not receptive to books on that particular occasion?

I frequently feel the need to buy a book when something negative has happened to me, as, for instance, if a student has given me a very hard time during a lesson (and I teach ADULTS, not teens!), or the principal has reprimanded me, or one of my colleagues has been rather nasty to me. BUT, I will also feel the need to buy a book when something positive has happened to me, as well, such as when someone at work tells me I'm an excellent teacher, or my husband compliments me, or I find out that they're now showing old Star Trek TOS re-runs on one of our cable channels. If some teaching technique I've tried out goes exceptionally well, I will also feel the need to buy myself a book. Heck, if I get a lot of comments on one of my posts, I will ALSO feel the need to buy a book! Lol. So, to me, books are like a sort of "comfort food", except for the mind. If something negative has happened, I comfort myself by buying a book. If something positive has happened instead, then buying a book is my reward! 

In other words, for me, just about ANY excuse to buy a book will do. Hee, hee!

Therefore, I don't quite understand those weird times when I wander all over this most treasured of places in all of Miami, and feel.....lost. Unsettled. Not at all sure of what I want. I know I want.....something. Maybe it's not really a BOOK I want. But what the HECK is it I want, then? I have gone to that bookstore (the one I visit most because of its location) for the precise purpose of buying a book! So this aimless wandering around really mystifies me....

Maybe it's just that I'm not sure whether I want to buy a fiction or a nonfiction book. Sometimes I do feel torn between the two. So this might be part of the problem. 

I wonder if any other readers have ever experienced something like this. I wonder if this is due to any unusual sun spot activity....or perhaps the meteors are bowling up there, somewhere beyond the moon..... Whatever the reason I feel this way, it also makes me feel sad.... I hate walking out of a bookstore with empty hands. What TRUE book lover doesn't?

I know this is a rather depressing post this week, and I'm sorry about that. However, I decided to go ahead and publish it anyway, to see if anyone else out there has encountered this phenomenon, and how they have dealt with it. Should I just shrug it off? But I find that I can't do that. So I just try not to think about such times. Except that the memories kinda haunt me every now and then. 

Fortunately, I haven't been in one of these weird moods recently. Yesterday, hubby took me to "Paradise", and I walked out with a book! Lol. It did take me a while to pick one out, though. 


What are your thoughts on
 this topic?
Please leave me a comment
and let me know!


  1. To be honest, I'd breathe a sigh of relief! I have plenty to read, believe me, and nowhere to put a new book, which is why I'm mostly buying ebooks these days. But I do see your point. You go in hoping for something delightful to take home and - nothing that day. Nothing to worry about, you'll find something next time.

    If you have a browse through my blog, you'll find some posts about visiting Dymock's bookstore to buy books for my school library and finding something for me while I was there, and taking it across the road to Ganache, a chocolate shop where I can sit with a cup of tea and three carefully chosen chocolates while stroking my new books...

    1. Hi, Sue!

      Oh, I have a HUGE TBR myself, and my shelves are chock full of books! Lol. Still, when I go to B&N, I ALWAYS hope to find a book treasure to take back home. I already have more than enough books, and yet....Lol. So yeah, I do go home disappointed when I can't seem to find anything! :) But you're right -- next time, I probably will!

      I just googled Dymock's, and discovered that this is a chain of 65 bookstores in Australia!! WOW!! And I've also googled Ganache, the chocolate shop you've mentioned. So you're in Melbourne! How nice!! Sure wish I could visit you...... I'm all the way over in Miami, Florida, in the U.S. :(

      It turns out that ganache has a definition, too, which is: "a whipped filling of chocolate and cream, used in desserts such as cakes and truffles." SOUNDS DELISH!! I really like the idea of eating chocolates as you check out your new literary treasures. YESSS!!!

      Thanks for the TERRIFIC comment!! I LOVED your little book-/hocolate anecdote!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  2. Someday I want to see Barnes & Nobles, it sounds so amazing! There aren't any bookstores anymore where I live but in the big city closeby there are a few bookstors that have English books that are really great. I also don't always leave with a book but I don't mind. Sometimes I just like to visit the bookstores just to see what books they have. I prefer buying books on The Book Depository anyway because their prices are much lower and then I can buy more books. LOL

    1. Hi, Steph!

      Oh, gee, I forgot to include pictures! Of course, this bookstore is even better when you see it in person! There are B&N stores all over the U.S., but the one I'm most familiar with, here in Miami, is just GORGEOUS!! I think I'll come back and insert photos in this post.

      I'm glad you don't mind going into a bookstore and walking out without a book. And yeah, The Book Depository does have really good prices! Sometimes, though, Amazon is better. Have you ever tried Amazon UK? But perhaps you'd have to convert your currency to British pounds. TBD, on the other hand, does allow Europeans to purchase books with euros. And there's the S/H charges. So maybe you are indeed better off buying from TBD.

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  3. Superb post Maria. I also love wandering around bookstores. We have a Barnes and Noble about 20 minutes away from where I live. They are so impressive. I can also spend hours and hours in it. We also have an very impressive independent bookstore about 40 minutes away. It is in a town worth visiting for a lot of attractions so we go to it occasionally.

    It one needs to rely on something to get one through stressful events, buying books is one of the most constructive things one can do. Of course you do have to contend with an ever growing TBR!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Thanks for the good word!! :) :)

      I do love wandering around bookstores, but not when I'm restless and can't decide what to buy. Lol. I think the best thing to do is to get there early, and thus, have plenty of time to explore as many of the nooks and crannies as possible! Lol.That's not usually the case with me, though; I rarely have more than a couple of hours to visit my "Paradise".....

      Barnes & Noble stores are usually beautiful and roomy, although the one in Kendall (this is an area of Miami several miles from the downtown area) is the biggest, roomiest one I've ever visited.

      There used to be two more B&N stores in the South Florida area. One was located about 5 blocks away from where we now live. It disappeared one fine day, about 7 or 8 years ago. A Christian bookstore later took its place, only to go out of business a couple of years later....So now I don't have any bookstores close by..... :(

      The other store that disappeared was located in Aventura, which is near North Miami, but later became incorporated as a city. The B&N was located inside Aventura Mall.

      There's another B&N located in Coral Gables, on a street known as Miracle Mile. I rarely go there, though, as it's no longer near me. It used to be, but that was before we moved. This one is much smaller than the two-floor store in Kendall, though.

      Yeah, reading and buying books are two activities that get me through stressful times. AND joyful ones, as well. In fact, there are books dedicated to bibliotherapy!

      My TBR is a lost cause......LOL. I have plenty of books already, but I still seem to want MORE!! LOL.

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! <3 :)

  4. I think sometimes we just don't feel like it. It could be for any various reasons. I don't have a huge book store, just a small BAM in the mall so I don't really go unless I know I want to buy something. However, I can ALWAYS order something off of Amazon. I think another phenomenon you could explore is going to the library and finding books you never planned on reading and taking home more than you'll ever be able to read in the time given.

    1. Well said, Barb! There is always that thing called the library, where, yes, you can pick a book at random and, in my case, you can bring it back without having to find space on your shelves.

    2. Hi, Barb!'s weird how sometimes we just aren't in the mood to buy a book....HOW can that be?! I guess it's similar to reading slumps, though, right? :)

      The nearest BAM store I know of is at Sawgrass Mills, a mall located in Sunrise, Florida, which is a city located near Fort Lauderdale. Both cities are north of Miami. We do sometimes go to Sawgrass, and I ALWAYS make a beeline for the BAM store there! Lol.. It's a pretty small store, however. And there are only TWO armchairs to sit in! Needless to say, SOMEONE is always sitting in one or the other!

      Oh, you're so funny!! I used to go to libraries years ago, and would usually come home with a stack of books I KNEW I would never be able to finish before it was time to take them all back. LOL. Besides, since I'm VERY possessive with books, if I happened to read one I ended up loving, I just HAD to OWN it! Hahaha!! Yeah, I don't visit libraries anymore. My library card expired ages ago, and I have not renewed it! :) :)

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! HUGS TO YOU AND THE PUPS, AND WOOF, WOOF TO THEM!! <3 <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

    3. Hi, again, Sue!

      As I've mentioned to Barb, libraries just don't work for me. There's something about OWNING a book. Lol. I gave up on libraries ages ago!!

      Thanks for commenting again!! <3 :)

  5. Yes... these days, a book has to be SCREAMING to me to buy it - I've shelves of books that I haven't yet read at home and more stacked up on my Kindle. What tends to depress me is when I browse at the Science Fiction and Fantasy sections and find lots of minor male authors of middling ability featured on the shelves and not ONE of the fabulously talented female authors currently smashing it with WONDERFUL books given so much as a single space... And it happens far too often:(.

    I didn't know you also taught adults, Maria! What do you teach?

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      Oh, I LOVE the way you put it -- a book has to be SCREAMING at you to buy it!! LOL!! Yup! That's how I feel sometimes when I go visit the B&N I call "Paradise".....

      You know, I really need to read more SF. Especially now that you've mentioned that there are LOTS of highly talented female SF and Fantasy authors (and I KNOW you're one of them)! So I do have to catch up! How sad, as well as INFURIATING, that bookstores pass up these BRILLIANT female authors in favor of less talented MALE authors....GRRRRR!!! Btw, would you believe that a guy I used to know was once actually SHOCKED when I told him that I loved SF? He said, "But you're a woman!" Yeah, well, thanks for telling me something I already knew, bud. So what does my gender have to do with my love of the Science Fiction genre? Is there some biological law that says women can't enjoy reading SF? Heck, women WRITE books in this genre, too!! Hello!!! Step into the 21st century, bucko!! LOL.

      I need to message you on Goodreads, so you can send me a list of female SF authors I need to read!

      As for my teaching, what I teach is ESOL, which stands for "English for Speakers of Other Languages". It's also known as ESL, which stands for "English as a Second Language". I teach in a public high school here in Miami, Florida. My schedule used to consist of a tutoring session, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM, and then a regular class, from 7:00 to 9:30 PM. I taught Level Two. This was Monday to Thursday, as they don't have tutoring or classes on Fridays. However, my regular class was closed last week, and I had to take my students to another teacher's classroom..... They're HER students now. This happened due to low enrollment. I only had three students in class last Thursday night, which is when the class was closed. So I'm looking around to see what I can do.....maybe online tutoring is the way to go. I am keeping my tutoring at the high school, though. My hourly salary is GREAT. I only wish I had more hours.....

      Thanks for the TERRIFIC comment!! HUGS!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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