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Oct. 15th, 2008


Mysteries in the Stacks

As my sister and I wandered through Chapters, I decided to try and locate one of the Post Secret books. There, in the self-help section (not the first place which came to mind), were three copies. As I picked one up and thumbed through, I noticed a little piece of cardboard. It was a small, torn fragment and it was squished far in - only noticeable because of the difference in texture.

Carefully, I plucked it out and called my sister over. "Someone put their own secret in the book of secrets," I marveled as I turned it over to read words carefully written in purple ink. I'm scared to tell you that I love you in case you don't. I placed it back and kept looking. In between pages thirty-three and thirty-four was another. This time a scrap of lined note-book paper with the same purple ink and careful penmanship. I think I love you but you scare me.

"Not terribly interesting secrets," judged my sister and I had to agree.

Still, I had a picture in my mind. A girl sitting on a bench in the mall. She carefully writes out the secrets which occupy her days. The secrets themselves are small, but she's young. She'll have bigger, darker secrets in a few years; for now, there isn't anything else more important - or more worthy. She slips into the bookstore and walks the self help aisle until the coast is clear. She carefully slips the secrets into the book and puts it back on the shelf. She fantasizes that the object of her unnoticed affection will pick up the book. That the girl she secretly loves and fears will open the book and know who the secrets belong to.

I put the book back on the shelf. It wasn't for me.

This is an older journal entry. The bookstore in question was in Fredericton, Canada

Oct. 13th, 2008



six members now! woohoo!

Not bad for a community that's only a few days old!

To celebrate, I shall write about Books4U, the textbook shop on campus at my university, which is not as inspiring as Barwon Booksellers, but definitely a relief to browse in between studying when there's no money for a coffee.

Books4U has automatic doors, and a bag drop rack as soon as you come in, where a typed notice advises you to take your valuables out of your bag. But I never bother leaving my bag there. In the middle of the shop but to the left are two counters, both facing out into the shop, and on the left side of these counters is some stationery, and books on sale, and behind the counters to the left are shelves with books you'd find in an ordinary bookshop. There's another counter between those shelves, which has shelves underneath on both sides, and at the start of each semester these are full of study guides and readers, and during the rest of semester they have ordinary books. I'm not sure how many people buy these, but they're there. The rest of the shop, about 4/5ths of the shelving space, is taken up by study guides, readers and text books. Until about week 2 of semester, when most of the stock has been purchased by now quite poor uni students, who wish they had money for a coffee, or something stronger, to help them cope with the idea of how much work they have to do in the next three-and-a-half months!

My favourite parts are the literary novels in the ordinary books section, and the sale tables when they have things, and the shelves where the novels for lit students are stocked in the right-hand side of the store.

Books4U also has notebooks of various sorts, and folders and pens, with Deakin written on them. My sister has a particularly colourful specimen of notebook from that range, but, alas, I haven't the money for one even though I would like one. But uni students are good at being poor, right? I think it's good practice for anyone who thinks that writing is their calling in life!

Oct. 8th, 2008

camera nihon



*pulls self away from current book and peeps shyly into new community*

Hello ^^

It's quite sad, but most of the small bookshops around here have gone out of business, and the only place I get to go to with any regularity is Hastings. I guess it's not really a bookstore, because it has movies and music and all, but there are lots of books, so that works for me.

Things I do at Hastings (pretty much in this order)

1. Check out the manga section. The one thing that bugs me about Hastings is that in a long series many volumes are missing, but other volumes have multiple copies. Thank god for special ordering. (Oooh, and those little green 'Used' stickers are my best friends. I check to see if the book's in good condition, then get it for about half the original price, which is specatular considering the average price of manga).

2. Ignore the anime section because it is stupidly expensive because currently Hastings had no competition for selling it in this town. >.<

3. Wander over to the Teen Fiction section. Usually don't find much and leave disgusted because I've noticed that authors are running out of original plot lines. It's where I found Twilight and Eragon, however. And Troy, that book was good, but the ending seriously depressed me.

4. Glance around the Horror section for Stephen King and Anne Rice (actually, I'm not sure why she's classified as 'horror'. Her books aren't very scary from any perspective. Unless you're super super fanatical Christian, I guess...)

5. Settle down in the History section with a biography I'm reluctant to buy but really want to read (Alexander the Great, uwah!).

6. Go look at the random things at the back of the store, like the shirts and novelty items. (I bought a Naruto shirt there not long ago)

7. Being unable to resist buying something, I usually go back to the Manga section and get something interesting with those lovely green stickers on them. Now and then I look for a CD or a movie, but to be entirely honest I spend little or no time in either of those sections.

8. Then I go sit in the Hardback Cafe and get a drink while I sit and read!

Well, that's usually how my time at Hastings goes. Does anyone else go there?


First post for the community!

Hello and welcome to this new community!

I will write a bit about Barwon Booksellers in this post, and hope that many more people post about their favourite bookshops too!

Barwon Booksellers is in James Street, Geelong, and sells all secondhand books. They also have a store in Queenscliff, but I've never been in there. James Street is a little street, with not much room for a car to drive up. Barwon Booksellers has green awnings, and is brick on the outside, with long narrow windows that have displays of books in the shelves in front of them. Sometimes the displays are organised by content, and sometimes by colour; it was very eye-catching when it was an explosion of red book covers!

When you go inside the counter is to the left, and there are shelves of books that you can look at behind there too, but I never do, and that is because they look like history books to me. I prefer the knitting books, and the sheet music, to the right at the far wall and in a box on the floor past the dictionaries respectively.

There are two doorways into the next room, and I usually take the right-hand side door to look at the classics, and marvel at how many of them I've never heard of before, and wonder if I'll ever read all of the Dickens books, and all the ancient Greeks, and the rest of Milton's works, and so on. Then I like to walk past the popular fiction section, and through another door into the little room that houses crime and children's books. I never look at the crime. I always look at the Harry Potters sitting there, and sometimes, when there's no-one in earshot, I say "Hello, Harry". Then I look at the Enid Blytons, sometimes browse for a quick read, nearly always look to see if they happen to have Shirley Simon's Best Friend, since the copy I have is falling apart, and they never do.

Then I go back out of that room, and walk past the humour section, sometimes pausing to browse, and look at the modern literature section, drooling over the books in there. Sometimes I look at the travel books to see if there's anything about the Netherlands.

I do not always buy a book there. Sometimes when I do buy a book, I can actually afford to, and sometimes I cannot afford to, and it means that I will have to go without something that I was planning to buy instead, like new runners, or credit for my mobile phone, or paying less on the phone bill and making it up later. But I am willing to go without these for a little longer for the sake of a book. Am I a fool? Perhaps; but I would rather blow my budget on a book than on clothes or makeup. Books last so much longer, are so much more useful, and so much nicer to look at!

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