Monday, February 9, 2009

Book Stores

Books have always been important in my life, and I tried to pass on the love of reading to my children. One way of doing that was when we made a point of stopping at bookstores whenever we vacationed with the kids. Whether it was a university bookstore (a move to acquaint Ann and Patrick with colleges and more deeply impress upon them the wonders of higher learning), mall bookstore, or mainstreet bookstore we made a point to visit it on vacation.

We found the Crow's Nest on the wharf in San Diego in the early 1990's and thought it delightfully revolutionary that it also contained a coffee shop. Hark, what an idea -- books to browse while sipping coffee! Fortunately this trend moved to the Midwest, a Barnes & Noble settled in Appleton, and I had a new favorite place. When in Toronto we visited Chapters, a two story book store; in Madison Canterbury Tales and Borders demand a visit (both with coffee offerings).

Ah, I love going to such bookstores, browsing books, sipping coffee, people watching.
I have rarely met a bookstore I don't enjoy and when a bookstore also houses a coffee shop a near perfect setting happens.

This Saturday we spent a few hours at Barnes & Noble; Dan skimming a computer programming book while I paged through a magazine and then began reading "The Reader." It is my understanding that bookstores such as B&N encourage people to spend time reading in the store because the longer customers are in the store, the more they are tempted to buy. I read half of the book and may return this week to finish it. A friend once asked if I felt guilty about reading a book there without intending to purchase it. Because I spend a lot of money at Barnes & Noble (the most popular family gift is a B&N gift card) I do not feel guilt.

On Saturday I left the store with the Barack Obama Vanity Fair.