dr_whom: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_whom
There's not a lot that makes me feel more useless than a gift-certificate to a used book store.

I have like $7 left on a gift certificate to BMV, and I was like, well, I've got a long road trip coming up and I may as well buy something to read. And… I wandered around the store for half an hour and eventually left it empty-handed. For every book, I was either like, 'well, I like that book, but I know that because I've read it before, so no need to buy it,' or 'I haven't read that, so I don't know if I'd like it, so I don't know if it's worth buying.' That's what all my bookstore experiences are like. And since it's a used book store, the handful of books that I specifically looked for because they'd been recommended or whatever were ones they didn't have.

I'm just… really bad at bookstores, I guess. They cause me an inordinate amount of anxiety.

Date: 2017-06-11 08:13 pm (UTC)
landofnowhere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] landofnowhere
One could use a smart phone to look things up on goodreads, maybe? It seems like somebody could even make an app to do that. Though I don't know if computer image recognition is yet up to the task of "recognize all the books given an image of the shelf", or if you'd have to scan individual bar codes.

(I rarely buy from used bookstores these days, but when I do I'm more likely to get books I read years ago and want to reread.)

Date: 2017-06-11 09:23 pm (UTC)
zdenka: A woman touching open books, with loose pages blowing around her (book guardian)
From: [personal profile] zdenka
That surprises me, because it's very different from my own bookstore experience and that of most nerdy/geeky people I know. (I'm not judging; I sometimes get anxiety over equally inconsequential things.)

I can't help wondering, how do you ever read new books? Do you get everything from the library first, or only buy books based on specific recommendations?

Used bookstores are great because the prices are so cheap that making a mistake has almost no consequences. Turns out it wasn't worth buying after all? Okay, you're out a few dollars . . .

Date: 2017-06-11 10:33 pm (UTC)
landofnowhere: (Default)
From: [personal profile] landofnowhere
"at libraries, you can get whatever you want to read, for free. So if you're going to Spend Money on a book, there must be a Very Good Reason for it, a book that you not only want to read but also Have."

I kind of grew up with that attitude; except that I had an aunt who gave me bookstore gift certificates every birthday for a few years, so I got practice making those sorts of decisions. (Many of the books I got were not all that great, but that's fine.) Often I go into bookstores just to be in a place with books, not because I'm expecting to get anything.

If you're looking for a book-buying experience to give you warm fuzzies, and have an elementary teacher friend who could use more books in their classroom library, I can recommend going to a used/remainders bookstore with cheap kids' books and getting books you liked as a kid / award-winning books to donate to your friend (and read first if you want to!)

Date: 2017-06-11 10:40 pm (UTC)
zdenka: A woman touching open books, with loose pages blowing around her (book guardian)
From: [personal profile] zdenka
I see! That makes sense, not in a logic way but in a "this is a thing people's brains do" way. I'm sorry the situation causes you anxiety.

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