Don’t faint. I know it’s Thursday and I don’t often post on Thursday, but since I went into a bookshop for the first time this year I thought I’d comment on it.
“First time this year?” I hear you say. “And you call yourself a writer?”
Well, to be fair, I have absorbed a lot of books onto my kindle through the year, and been blessed with a few print copies landing on my doormat, too. My Goodreads To-read list was standing at 225 before I went into that bookshop… and is now up to 233. I only brought 6 books home, one of which is not on my to-read list, and I added three more that I haven’t got yet.
And there in a nutshell is why I don’t go into bookshops very often. I tend to add books to my list from other people’s recommendations, and I probably see ten of those a day. Well, call it seven as some will come up more often than others. But go into a bookshop, where you can see them, feel them, and find old favourites you’d forgotten, or read in a distant past and forgotten how much you enjoyed them … well, you know the problem.
Even worse, it’s Christmas. So although the offers aren’t as good as some other times of the year (buy one, get one half price is the same as 3 for 2 but doesn’t feel that way!) they are still offers. Funnily enough, on first pass I swear I saw four books on my to-read list that I might like. When I’d picked up one book with an offer sticker in the Children’s section I went back to look for one to go with it and couldn’t find any of them! On the other hand, I saw a Montalbano and a new Lindsey Davis book I hadn’t seen on my first pass. The assistant said he hadn’t changed any of them in the past two hours….
I didn’t buy the Montalbano because I decided to keep going with them on my kindle app.
I didn’t buy the Fritz Lieber Lankhmar omnibus (Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser etc.) although I carried it around for a bit, and it was a hard call. It’s now on my to-read list and my wish list. Checking it on Amazon I see there’s a second part to that, and it’s all part of a Fantasy Masterworks series… oh yes, I’d like most of those!
I didn’t buy Why the Whales Came although that’s on my to-read list already.
I didn’t buy My Name is Malala, or My Animals and other Family, although that would be a good one for the Bookshelf Gargoyle’s challenge next year. I didn’t spot Tinder or I would have bought it, and I forgot to look at any other Sally Gardner books, and completely missed any by Cornelia Funk although I would surely have bought one or more if I had.
I looked right around the Children’s 9-12 books, the Teen and YA section, the SciFi section, which seems to include Fantasy, but not Dark Fantasy which had its own bookcase. I looked right around the Fiction section, picking up quite a few, but being biased by skimming, therefore looking more at those that were facing. There’s marketing in action – or is it merchandising? It’s certainly Display!
What I did buy were:
- The One Dollar Horse, by Lauren St. John
- The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis
- Skellig, by David Almond
- The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
- Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
- Quidditch through the Ages by J K Rowling (or Kennilworthy Whisp, if you prefer)
- I enjoyed the other Lauren St John book I read, and this was the first of a pony series and in the offer
- The Ides of April is a new series, starring a female protagonist, Flavia Alba, taking over from the adorable Marcus Didius Gaius Falco. I’m way behind on the Falco books, but this was the other half of the offer!
- Quidditch has been on my wish list for ten years
- Skellig has been on my to-read list for two years
- Gregor the Overlander has been on my to-read list for about as long, and was the Great Middle Grade Reads book for November… I’ll catch up.
- The Rings of Saturn is part of a challenge I am setting myself for 2014, to read more books set in Norfolk, my home county.
- I had a book token to use up that I’d had since January!
So that was my trip to the bookshop (thank you, Waterstones, Norwich). I must do it more often. The other thing I must do is go to the library. Norwich has a fab library, and I know my friends go there too.
Now, there’s my first new year’s resolution!