Monday, May 13, 2013

Musing Monday...Beg, Steal or Borrow

I think it was on Shelf Awareness that I saw this link to a cute article, How to Shop at a Bookstore: An Easy 20-Step Guide for Authors.
Even though I have never seen a bookstore through the eyes of an author, as a reader, bookstores are certainly places I  enjoy going to. So I enjoyed reading this list...until I got to number 18... and it gave me occasion to pause.
18) As you cross the street with your bag of new books, remember the first time your mother took you to a bookstore and told you to pick something out. To keep, not borrow. You were overwhelmed by choice and wonder. Remember how you pulled things off the shelf at random because every book was equally unknown and fresh and promising.
Mother...bookstore...why does that not ring a bell?
In fact, why to I have no memory of bookstores when I was a kid.
Actually, what was the first time I ever went to a bookstore?
Gosh, I have no idea!

I have written before, perhaps ad nausem, about my happy memories of wee caite going to the library with my mom, a great book lover and a great reader. My memory of going upstairs to the kids floor, picking out the books I would take out. My memory of how happy I was to finally be old enough to get my own library card. Happy days...
Ok, I will stop. But still, libraries, yes, bookstores, no.

There were many stores in our neighborhood in Newark, NJ at the time. Jewelry stores, and shoe stores and two supermarkets and drug stores and a florist and an ice cream and candy store and several banks..but no bookstore that I remember. And even in downtown Newark, then the home of a great big Bamberger, later Macy's, department store and lots of other stores, I remember no bookstores. Was there a bookstore?
How odd is it that I have no memory of going to a bookstore until maybe I got a drivers license and could drive to the then new mall maybe a half hour away. Honestly, I do not remember going to a bookstore there either, but I must have. Right? Maybe the Bro will remember and post a comment.

Libraries were always the center of my book reading world when i was a kid. And oddly, now that our local Borders shut down and there are no independent bookstores nearby, libraries are once again playing a big part. That, and the Evil Amazon and Nookbooks from Barnes and Noble for the Evil E-reader and of course, that towering pile of review copies.

Do you have fond childhood memories of bookstores..maybe your first trip to a bookstore?
I would love to hear them!
Because it seems I don't!


  1. I do remember going to bookstores with my mom--Paul's Books was full of musty old books and I loved to wander the aisles. The college bookstore had a fun collection of pens as well as Bucky Badger paraphernalia (and a lot of books). But when it comes to bringing *home* books? Library, all the way.

  2. I don't remember bookstores either. I have loads of very fond memories of the library but none of actually buying books. That may be because I used to get so many books for Christmas and birthdays that I never needed to and when I did run out, the library was always there. Libraries are amazing.

  3. I don't remember going to bookstores with my mom either. I do remember going to the library with her though. I, also, remember one time loving a book so much (I can't remember which one now) that I tried to buy the book from the librarian. LOL - I did not come home with that book.

  4. When I was a kid, there were only two ways I'd put my hands on a book. One was through the library, where I went weekly. The second was the monthly (or maybe it was less frequent than that?) sheets that would be handed out to each kid in class, where we could order books to buy. I would just about WET myself when this sheet arrived in our classroom, then I would daily wet myself until the books actually arrived. Talk about learning the virtue of patience! I don't think I stepped inside a bookstore for some strange reason until I was a teenager, when I would sneak in there with my own money and buy those scandalous Judy Blume books.

    1. Wow, I can just picture you

  5. A middle-class family with two growing kids and a mortgage? Yeah, there were no trips to bookstores. I might have gotten books for special occasions, like birthdays and Christmas, but otherwise it was the library all the way. I had baby books, probably because they were cheap, but most of my reading materials came from the library. It’s not something a growing family spends money on.

  6. Nope, no memories of going to a bookstore until I hit college. My mother, like yours, was a reader and lover of libraries. A weekly trip there was the highlight of my young childhood.

  7. So it seems memories of bookstores in our youth are rare...

  8. No fond memories of bookstores or libraries. My parents were not readers. Mom read to us bedtime stories when we were very young but that is it. School libraries were where I got my books. We didn't even have a bookshelf in our home! Ghastly isn't it?! I don't know how I turned out to be a book drunkard:) My children though were in the public library all the time and we bought books!Anyway you can get them is my motto!

    1. I don't remember having bookshelves in our house...just piles that went back and forth to the library. Maybe it skipped a generation?


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!