• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New

I spent an hour in a B&N today. First, I check the poetry section. The sign of a really good bookstore, as far as I’m concerned, is the quality of their poetry section. I’m looking for breadth and depth. Then, I check if my clients’ books are in stock. Often I’ll photograph them and forward with a note. Sometimes, shelf-elf that I am, I move them to the front tables. And finally, I search for my three little fuckers.

What’s the first thing  you look for in a bookstore?

15 Responses

  1. New memoirs and biographies first, then best seller fiction. I usually meaner over to the garden and interior design coffee-table books, and if I totally strike out in all aisles, expensive, glossy magazines that aren’t sold in the supermarket. Nice to meet you this past weekend, and glad you were shopping in Mitchells and Bookwooks.

  2. “meander,” and Bookworks. It’s late.Happy second day of summer.

  3. Ha, well, I sort of do what you do. Except the poetry part. I look for my book. I move my book, if necessary. I look for authors I know personally, and take pics of their books to post on FB, and tag them.

    I used to go in only to look for something good to read. Like with reading for pleasure, it’s not so simple anymore.

  4. I gravitate towards old secondhand bookshops where anything goes. I once found a signed 1st addition of A Prayer For Owen Meany. That was cool.

  5. Front table. There’s been more than one occasion when a book has caught my eye immediately upon strolling in and I can’t leave it behind no matter how many books I look at — fiction first –, so I return to the front and remain faithful to my first love, the sweetheart of the bookstore portal. So keep relocating those books!

    (I love little bookstores best of all, but I’m in awe of the big stores with their mountains of books. And I’ve received enlightening recommendations from associates in each).

  6. Poetry, memoir, science

  7. I frequent a local bookshop. The owners are friends/clients, who also bring their dog to work. Natch, I first ask the staff if they are in the back office. After small talk, petting the pooch and checking on the condition of the building (it’s quite old; we replaced all the upstairs windows last year), I am able to wander the aisles.The only section that doesn’t hold my attention are the shelves with the zombie/superhero/teen-angst paperbacks.

  8. Staff recommendations competently printed by hand and posted on shelves above and below the eye level material — even the bottom shelf. No staff recommended books? I’m in a GAP store with books, not a bookstore.

    • I agree about the staff recommendations, but WHY oh WHY do they not type or hand-letter them? Has it occurred to no one that their tortured cursive handwriting is unintelligible and frustrating for the browsing customer?

  9. I am a crossword puzzle nut so check out the games section…then best sellers, then remainder table for fiction. I almost always find something to buy. Lastly, the non book items. Indigo book stores have the best stuff!!!

  10. I was in B&N the other day and needed help finding the poetry section because it was so small: a half dozen shelves at the back of the store. They did know who Tracy K. Smith is or even what a Poet Laureate was.

    I wanted one of hers for my wife. I browse the fiction section and sometimes the local interest shelves. But generally when I buy I order through my local indie bookstore to give them the business.

  11. Books and magazines on writing. Weird huh.
    Front tables, then childrens. I don’t write for kids, I have grandkids.

  12. “What’s the first thing you look for in a bookstore?”

    If I’m looking for anything specific, that will be first. If I have time (but I don’t — time has me), I’ll look for books by people I know. And if there’s even more time (but time does not exist, so how could there be any quantity of it?), I’ll gauge the nature of the fiction section(s).

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