Roaming Bookstores and Seashores


Roaming a bookstore is something akin to roaming the seashore for me. There is exhilaration and discovery, the heady smell that is unique to the location. My daughter loves to do both, too, as her blog post and Flickr pictures yesterday attest.

Her enthusiasm for acquiring books reminded me of my recent visit to one of my favourite out-of-town haunts. A few days ago after travelling to my writing group meeting I took the rare opportunity to visit a mega Christian bookstore — Blessings Christian Marketplace.  I was looking for a particular book, which I didn’t find, but I still came home with four others! It just isn’t possible to escape a bookstore with empty hands!

Books by Mary Connealy

As I browsed the shelves it was a delight to discover the books of people I’ve encountered online. It felt a little like running into friends in the crowded city. Or coming upon an eagle “perusing the menu” on the salt washed shore. What are the odds, I often wonder after such encounters.

Seeing the books was a strange sensation… there was a recognition that sparked pride in the authors’ accomplishment. It made me wonder how I will feel the day I see my own title among them, if that day ever comes. At this stage of my writing career I can’t imagine it. But the sight ignited my enthusiasm to continue working towards that day.

The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund
Code Blue by Richard Mabry
Books by James Scott Bell

What emotions do you experience when you visit your bookstore or library, or are you just focused on locating a book?


Gull photo courtesy of

Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

14 thoughts on “Roaming Bookstores and Seashores

  1. I am like you and just love roaming a bookstore for hours and hours. I love roaming the seashore, too finding special shells, smooth stones or coloured glass. Just like finding a special book. Good comparison. I will have to read your daughter’s blog next.

    It’s so true that the Internet has brought us so much closer to authors and I, too, get excited when I see a Facebook friend’s book. I’m still quite geeky about being friends with so many published authors online. And they’re all so gracious and generous! Writers, for the most part, are such lovely people! I feel privileged to be a part of such a wonderful milieu.

  2. At bookstores, I’m hyper conscious of the money-issue. Let’s face it, it gets expensive to buy books, and I’m reluctant to spend money on a book I may not like. A couple of years ago, I roamed the bookstore and made out a list of books that intrigued me. I gave the list to my husband, and he’s given some of those books to me as gifts over the years. (The Mother’s Day ones this year were great!)

  3. Morning dear friend, Well, of course, BOOKSTORE! That’s what I need! And our favorite also has a resturant attached-Colophon- with holstein cows their theme, and trust me their deserts are heaven!! And our bookstore also (still, I hope) takes books you’ve read for either $’s or books, well I have accumulated over $400.00 That’s right FOUR HUNDRED $s to spend. I had more but I bought the full set of Diana Gabaldon novels (pb)not only for reading, but to
    study ( that lady writes such powerful story-telling!). And the seashore!!!!
    Living on one (Juan de Fuca/Puget Sound–across from Whidby Island) as a
    7-8 year old, filled my head with unforgetable memories (or maybe it was that blond haired boy???)–never mind. Keep writing my friend.
    Luv-ya, mE

  4. I get a little hitch of exhilaration looking at all the new books. For me it’s like walking in a garden, I have to touch and admire those covers that stand out. I stop and savor. It’s fun. The only sad part is I don’t have the money to buy all the books, or have the time to read all the books that strike my fancy.

  5. I love recognizing favorite or new authors I just met on-line, too. I find a deep enjoyment going to a bookstore and would stay for a long time when my schedule allows. 🙂

  6. As my children were growing, one of my favorite outings with them was a trip to the library. We would make it a day-long project by including a long walk to the library, time to browse and read, and the walk back home. This early exposure to books clicked with my daughter. When she had her own children, we made trips to the library with them, too.

    Your post reminds me of two things I truly miss now that my husband and I have moved far from my family. One is spending time in a bookstore with my daughter. The second is going to the beach. We lived in Florida, and your photo of the birds standing in the water causes a rush of ocean memories to flood my mind. Blessings to you, Carol…

  7. Bookstores make me happy! It’s one of the things my husband and I share in common. And almost every time we travel we end up shipping home a box of books because our luggage is too heavy. I just love to look around and surprise myself with what I buy. Thanks for a fun post and the link to your daughter’s blog. Great reading 🙂

  8. “…. if that day ever comes.”

    You gotta stop sayin’ that, my friend. Way too much talent. I’d read anything you put out there … unless it was a cookbook. I can’t cook.

    And I still love bookstores but I hafta avoid ’em. Cannot walk out the door without a dozen books – at least. And don’t get me started on the Kindle purchases. Maybe I should check into a bookaholic clinic.

    And there’s always the beach & you know I’m there …. a lot.

  9. I’m loving all the comments, thanks! I can’t believe Earlene has built up $400 credit at her bookstore… that’s impressive! I’d give my right arm (um, no, maybe my left; I need my right to write) to have $400 to spend in a bookstore right now! Buying four books all at once was a big splurge for me.

  10. Ahhh… bookstores and seashores… heaven! Love the parallel you found here — it’s so true! 🙂

    The really big bookstores can feel a little overwhelming to me, although I still love them. But browsing around the small indie store here or the one in the next town is wonderful! The anticipation of discovering a treasure, the time spent savouring covers and pondering intriguing titles and cover copy… love it! (And I love finding books by authors I know online, too — something akin to pride blossoms when I hold a writer-friend’s book. Makes me so happy for the author that her (or his) book is RIGHT HERE on the shelf, and in my hands!)

  11. Many years ago I was brousing in a bookstore in the States when I came across a novel by a friend. I was as giddy as a school girl. I’ll never forget the moment. I remember thinking I know the author!

    I love Books and Company in Prince George, an independent bookstore because of its charm and uniqueness. And the smell. And I don’t mean the home-cooked muffins in the coffee shop. Its brilliant colours, all the difference sizes, shapes from the children’s huge books, the magazines, the tapes, the calendars. I love everything about that store. The first day I walked in and saw my book on the shelf, it was a very humbling experience. I stood for a moment trying to savour the feeling. I knew too soon it would lose its charm.

    Today when I see a nicely made up book I think of the author and how much hard work and dedication they put into making that book.

  12. I remember the first time I saw a book written by someone I’d met online. I was really excited. I told the lady working there, “I know her,” and then added “Well, I met her online.” I don’t expect she understood. It was exciting for me though.

    I look forward to seeing your book in a store one day, Carol. And I do mean that.

  13. I’ve been unplugged for a few days, away and visiting. I brought a couple of my new books with me to read en route, and will have them finished before I return home. I realize I devour books by authors who are especially meaningful to me even when they’re written in a variety of styles and genres. Is it that I’m predisposed to like the stories because I like the authors, or are the books that well written? Something to think about.

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