Why the bookstore is a dangerous place…

Let’s face it, when it comes to books, us bookworms have the ultimate soft spot. We WANT THEM ALL!!!

So when it comes time to go to the bookstore, it may take some us all of our willpower not to bust the bank.  We have all done it. We have gone to the bookstore with one or two books on our list. Then by the time we get to the cash register, we have an arm load.

Luckily, I am proud to say that I can actually walk through a book store now and not buy anything. WHAT?! I know, I know, seems impossible. But after realizing how much money I can save by going to the  library, which has endless resources to get you the books you want, the bookstore isn’t such a dangerous place for me anymore. But that wasn’t always the story.

While I was writing up my Top 10 Tuesday this week about books with memories, I wrote about one that I had bought at Barnes and Noble simply because I had started reading it in the store. It made me start to think of all the other unexpected buys that I had made and an idea for a future post.

See five years ago, my willpower to pass through a bookstore without buying anything was pretty much non-existent. At that time, I was also living at home and didn’t care much about saving money or sticking to a budget, like I am now. So it was so easy. Combine that with the fact I was in the bookstore at least once a week, I was a goner.

At that time I was a reporter and there was at least a two-hour period during the day that I had time to kill between when I had to be in the office and when I had a meeting. Since I lived 45 minutes from my job, I couldn’t just go home, so I did the next best thing. I went to Barnes and Noble and hung out.  Usually I tried to bring a book with me so I could sit in the corner and read until it was time to go, but more often than not, I would go without one. Thus, I would begin to browse the tables. A book would catch my eye, I would open the cover, begin to read and … I was sucked in. By the time it was time to go, I had usually read so much of it, I was committed. I might as well buy it. Hence, how I had some of the more unexpected titles on my shelf. I thought it was time to share.


This is by far not all of the books I have acquired through this method but these are the only ones I can distinctly remember. And I will try to explain why I ended up with these.

(All titles are linked to Goodreads)

Louisa May Alcott by Susan Cheever – I am a huge Alcott fan as most of you already know since I mention Little Women every chance I get. So when I saw this out on the table, I thought maybe I should learn about the author I loved so much. It was an interesting read but unfortunately, I didn’t not finish this one.

The Girl with No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys by Marina Chapman –  With a title like that, how can you not be intrigued? I immediately started reading and it didn’t take me long to finish. I definitely think I have to reread this one. I just remember being awed by this story. Crazy.

Toms River by Dan Fagin – So my parents current live in Toms River, New Jersey and everyone who is from around there knows about the cancer cluster that popped up in that town years ago due to a local factory spilling waste into the river, i.e. Toms River. (Similar to the Erin Brokavich case). When this book came out, I had to read it. I wanted to know the story behind all the rumors.

Still Foolin’ ‘Em by Billy Crystal I love Billy Crystal and when I was reading this in the bookstore I couldn’t stop laughing. So of course, I bought it. I didn’t finish it at that time but I am currently listening to the audiobook and loving it all the better. He reads the book in front of a live audience as if he is doing a standup comedy routine. HILARIOUS!

Steps in Time by Fred Astaire – I grew up watching old Turner Classic Movies with my mother and the old musicals with Fred Astaire were among them. I wanted to dance like him. So of course, I wanted to read his autobiography. I ended up not finishing it because my mom wanted to read it. By then, I had moved on.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson– At first I wasn’t going to read this but then the movie came out and once again found myself without a book in a bookstore. So I started reading and the rest is history. I ended up reading the whole series (except for the one that just came out by a different author.)

Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick – I completely forgot that I had this book. Again, wasn’t going to read it but was bored at the store. I know that I finished it but can’t honestly say I remember anything about it, except that he had some mental issues.

The Help by Kathryn Sockett – I picked this book up because the movie had just come out and was getting all the rave. I decided to read the first few pages just to get an idea of whether it was worth it. Ummm yeah. I finished this in like a day.

Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut’s Journey to the Moon by Al Worden – So I totally got sucked in by the summary of this book. Why would an astronaut get fired? I was actually surprised by how interesting this book was and finished it within a day or two.

The Jersey Sting: Chris Christie and The Most Brazen Case of Jersey-style Corruption – Ever by Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin – OK I am from Jersey, Chris Christie was our governor and the authors were fellow journalists. Um need I say more. Needless to say, this was a very interesting story about how Christie got his start. (This is linked to Amazon because Goodreads didn’t have a summary).

I am pretty sure I also got into Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey due to my boredom in the bookstore but since I can’t remember, I didn’t include it. I think because I have read them so many times, I have so many other memories associated with them.

I am so glad that I have overcome my weakness, though it is still tempts me from time to time. But the only time I really buy books anymore is if I can’t get it at the library. And then I usually go to the local mom and pop bookstore since Barnes and Noble gets plenty of business. But this post has gone on long enough.

Thanks for reading. Until next time,

Book Admirer

How many books have you bought without planning on it? What were they? Have you read them? Let’s discuss!



3 thoughts on “Why the bookstore is a dangerous place…

  1. Can you recommend a 12-step program for avoiding those impulse buys at the book store? For me it’s the nostalgia of holding and smelling a new book. And while my books were the cherished possessions I could actually take with me when we moved away from friends, Rickie HATES having to move all those books from home to home. Thanks for the list of ones you found in the book store. I must be unlucky when it comes to just picking random books up and falling for them.


  2. Great list of books! I don’t blame you for ending up buying them. The one on Louisa May Alcott sounds fascinating, it seems many authors have an opinion or two on her.


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