Everyone has their favorite place to hang out, somewhere where they feel right at home. A place they feel relaxed simply by walking through the door.
For me, that place is the bookstore.
Last year during a trip to New York, when the crowds of woman shoppers got too much to handle in the clothing store, I was off to the bookstore for some peace and solace.
Just walking through the aisles of books made me forget about the long lines for the change rooms and the clothes I liked but couldn’t fit into, back at the clothing store.
There’s also nothing quite like going into an overseas bookstore.
It’s like being a kid in a candy store, one that has all sorts of delicious candy you can’t get at home (without having to pay an expensive shipping fee).
I always head straight for the section on self-help (though I prefer to call it the personal growth aisle). Without fail, there is always a book that I have not seen before. Trying to pick which one to buy is often the hardest part. It’s rare I walk out with only one.
Then it’s off to the travel section, my second favorite part of the store. On holiday in London, I stumbled upon Stanfords the specialist travel store.
They nearly had to send out a search party, I was in there so long.
I have long held a fascination for magazines as well, so the magazine racks are normally my next stop to browse and flick through the flavors on offer.
If the bookstore has a café, then it’s time to inspect my purchases over a pot of tea and something sweet and wickedly fattening (now I remember why I can’t fit into those clothes I liked).
If I could find a bookstore that has a café and a bar, that would be perfect! Reading my new purchase over a glass of white wine would be simply divine.
A word of warning to shoppers buying books overseas, watch the weight.
Books and magazines, when you have a few of each, can get weighty and you may find yourself paying an excess baggage fee to get your goodies home. Be mindful if you are taking an internal domestic flight with a lower baggage allowance before you take your long-haul flight. Try to spread the weight out evenly between whatever handbags and luggage you have with you.
When I was backpacking through Spain, I had to rest for a week in Madrid due to a bad head cold and a sore back. The cold speaks for itself, but how did I hurt my back? I was carrying too many books and bits of travel material around in my backpack.
I am, no doubt, a bookstores favorite type of customer. I struggle to walk out without buying something. This can, however, be an issue when you are on a strict budget.
Thankfully I made an amazing discovery.
The public library!
I was a library member when I was young but I’d totally forgotten about this little gem.
On my first trip to the Brisbane Square Library, I chose my books, headed to the counter and out of habit reached for my wallet.
Then I remembered you get to read the books for free. Yeah!
Now I regularly visit the library and feel completely guilt free walking out with a pile of books. Now if they would just install a cafe and bar in the library, it would be perfect!
Do you have a public library in your area that you can utilize? If you are a lover of books like myself, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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