Yesterday evening, after the kids were in bed, I snuck (no, I will not get into the debate as to whether or not this is a real word! 🙂 out and went to the bookstore!


Whenever I enter a bookstore, I feel like a kid in a candy store! There can be nothing better to a writer. My husband has long ago learned to leave these excursions to me, as they can be hours long. Opening the door and seeing two floors of books, that new book smell … I become lost.

I always begin at the tables in the center. Hot New Fiction. Recommended Reads. Heather’s Picks. Kiddie Picks. I’ll move to the back, and see what’s new for kids, and then pass by the outdoor living, and cuisine books – but these are pretenses. I want the fiction section. Here, walls of books overwhelm me. I stare at them, wondering, where do I begin? Inevitably, a salesperson wanders over to me, and we get to talking. “I am supposed to be recommending you, not the other way around,” I was told last night.

Nine o’clock rolls around, too quickly, and they announce that the store is closing. I have a few minutes.
The sale is buy 3, get a 4th free.
I look at the pile in my arms. Do I buy 8? No, that is too indulgent.

I stand in line, everyone indiscreetly peering at each others treasures, making mental notes, and trying to avoid all the book gadgets that are laying in wait.

Finally, it is just me and my books.

A bag full of mixed candy. Some expected, others not.

The Witch of Portobello, by Paulo Coelho

Santa Olivia, by Jacqueline Carey

The Seamtress, by Frances De Pontes Peebles

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larsen

22 thoughts on “Candy

  1. It is absolutely impossible to go into a bookstore, pick up THE book you went in for and come straight out.
    It will never happen – not in my world.

    I don,t know where you are but – try stopping in the
    Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont -voted as the best Independent Bookstore a year or so ago by Publishers Weekly. Now, that is a full blown adventure!

  2. I read the Witch of Portobello, it was quite interesting. I love books as well. I buy a lot. In fact I have books all over the house, unfortunately I haven’t read a lot of them. I need to do better in the reading department.

  3. Hi Jennifer
    Books are wonderful! I make day-trips up the coast to my favourite bookstore every month or so. Bookstores are my mecca. I find it hard to pass by without going in and I never come out empty-handed. Fortunately my husband indulges my book fetish and laughs at me when I grin like the Cheshire Cat.

  4. Well, I don’t know much about the others you listed, Jennifer, but Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s series was absolutely fantastic for the mature reader. If she wrote Santa Olivia with half as much life as her previous titles it should be well worth it.

    I love books as well, and have quite the ever growing collection. In fact, I seem to collect them much, much faster than I can ever read them.

    1. Isn’t that wonderful, Andrew? You’ll never run out of something to read! 🙂
      I also enjoyed her Kushiel series, but not her other one. this one looks different, but fun! I’ll let you know.

  5. I absolutely agree! I love spending hours in a bookstore. There’s something so refreshing and inspiring about the rows and rows of books, and all the hours and thought that made them happen. I especially appreciate the experience more, now that I am writing a novel myself – I’m sure you can identify! Thanks for your comment on my wall. I’ve only barely begun to poke around your site, but I’m looking forward to reading more of your stuff! Good luck on all your writing and editing!

    1. Thank you for coming by! I put off writing for quite a few years, worried that it would ruin the reading experience for me. It has changed it in some ways, as you say, entering a bookshop now has a new element to it. I enjoy additional literature that I never would have had I not been writing – was I ever wrong (thank goodness!)

  6. One of the things that makes it fun, is just jumping into a new genre on the shelves. Its like pulling a slot machine. When ever I get bored with my usual tastes, I’ll wander over to a section I don’t usually spend a lot of time in and take some chances. This has introduced me to some who, now that I found them, are my favorite authors.

    1. You are right, Nathan. Once upon a time I would not read anything but fantasy – nothing! Now, I read everything and anything, and what I would have missed had I stuck to one genre. I am just learning how to stop reading a book if it really doesn’t click, but I still feel guilty, and can’t do it so often…

  7. I recently bought a copy of dostoyevsky’s “Notes from Underground” and “The Double”. I then discovered I had a paperback version of each purchased at a thrift store. I spent nearly thirty times more on the new edition as the old. I DID NOT even for one moment contemplate returning the new copy.

    Oh well!

  8. Bookstores are also good for the writer’s moral: look at all these published writers! When the gloom and doom of the publishing world has me convinced there will never be another published book, I walk into a book store and smile.

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