Barnes & Noble

The ease of buying or borrowing both ebooks and audiobooks has limited my opportunities to wander a bookstore browsing the shelves with a coffee beverage.  I miss the Borders franchise profoundly, but ocassionally visit Barnes & Noble instead.  I got some of my household chores done yesterday and made a trip to Lakewood to browse.

I made a first pass through the shelves and then purchased a coffee and a slice of coconut cake as I sat at a table to look through my selections.  I gradually worked my way through the stack and realized that even that experience has changed.  I tagged the one hardcover I wanted to purchase and then began looking the others up in Overdrive, Audible and Amazon.  I found three of four related books available for loan from the libraries (Overdrive) and used a credit to get the fourth on Audible.

Dropping the books I’d decided against on the Customer Service desk, I stopped at the restrooms and then went back to the stacks. I spent a long time in young adult fantasy and found both new releases from my regular authors and new series.  I also spent a great deal of time talking to a young woman about various authors and series.  That is also one of the things I miss.  Posting online and writing reviews is just not the same.

I finished in the Native American history section where I found a new author had just published a serious history:  Lakota America by Pekka Hamalainen.  Unfortunately, it had a purchase price of $35.00.  Doing research, I found he’d also published the Comanche Empire.  Purchasing either of them from Amazon’s website as either physical or electronic versions saved about $10.00.  In the end, I elected to get the both as audiobooks using purchased credits costing just under $12.00.

Finishing my coffee and my research a second time, I decided on the hardcover of the World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman. I began it this morning while soaking in a not bath with solid bubble bath from Lush.

I use social media and I “read” about half my titles by listening to them when physically occupied (working, driving, doing chores, knitting, reading email, etc.).  When I get the chance or make the time to browse in a book store or settle down with a physical book, I realize how much technology has changed my experience.  Running the story in my head as a movie happens much less often and reading sometimes feels merely like another activity demanding I make time for it.  I am grateful for our local Barnes & Noble and the surviving small booksellers for the chance to remember my literal love for reading and books.

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