I don’t get to buy many books these days. One reason is financial. While we’re doing okay at the moment, books for a long time were on the list of things that we could only buy once in a while. Yes, I know getting ebooks is cheap, but if you’ve read my previous posts, you know my feelings on ebooks (even though I publish them). Another reason is that we have such a large collection of books already and no space to put them. Most of them are in storage at the moment, since we don’t have a permanent residence just yet, but still, the thought of adding to a collection that will take up an entire room is enough to make one leery of buying just one more. Lastly, finding time to read is tough to do these days, so spending money on a book that I may or may not get around to reading within five years of buying it is a bit of a deterrent.
However, when you receive gift cards, you can’t say no.
I’ve had a gift card to Barnes & Noble since Christmas, but I didn’t get around to using it until today. I had to find a time when I could go by myself because, frankly, I take forever to decide. Especially when there’s a monetary limit. And today was no exception; I actually have no idea how much time I was in the store for, but I know it was at least an hour.
I learned a sad truth, though, and in hindsight it was a pretty obvious one. It was that bookstores are not as good as they used to be. There were at least four occasions that I thought of something that I wanted to buy, but I was foiled at every turn when it turned out the store didn’t have those books. I understand that the world of publishing has grown exponentially, and I’m happy to see so many more names on the shelves, but it makes it difficult to find older titles. Things leave the shelves and don’t get restocked. Plus, more and more room in the store is being dedicated to non-book stuff – the Starbucks cafe, the rows and rows of toys and games, the CD section, etc. I remember the days when I could pop into a book store and find the exact book I was looking for. Today, I couldn’t even find any books by Piers Anthony! And he should have been taking up at least two whole shelves! (Has he been banned from Barnes & Nobles stores or something?)
Anyway, observations aside, I finally decided on two books – Hard Magic by Larry Correia and Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. The former author was suggested to me by a friend, but in regards to another book, Monster Hunter International. While I do plan on reading that one eventually, I had spotted Hard Magic years ago when I was still working on my Mystery, Murder, and Magic series and was curious about possible parallels since the overall themes – detectives and magic – were similar. The latter purchase was simply because I really loved Dexter the TV series (specifically seasons one and two, which I understand were more closely tied to the books than later seasons). Hopefully I’ll get to read them soon and post reviews, or at least my thoughts on them.
In the meantime, I guess it’ll be a while before I head back to the bookstore. If that’s the case, I fear how much less I’ll be able to find in the wake of more to discover.