I love bookstores. Of course, I do. I am a writer and before that I was a reader. The first bookstore I loved was called The Bookmark. It was privately owned and located next door to Parisian. (That was before Parisian moved from Gateway Shopping Center to the mall, where it met its demise. That's another story and one I could easily get started on, but I will resist.)
Anyway, my mother would give me money and let me go to the Bookmark while she tried on 300 dresses and 500 pairs of shoes in Parisian. I loved the smell, the order, the quiet, but most of all, the possibilities. The Bookmark, like most small bookstores, is long gone. By the time it went to the great bookstore in the sky, there was a Bookland in the mall. It was bigger and better organized and I transferred my love easily. By the time it died, I had a mega store in my town and a different mega store in the next city over.
The megastores remain and loving them is easy because there are books and coffee. Well, mostly, it's easy. I am having a little trouble. Three days after Christmas The Lady Most Likely by Judith Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway was released. I was ready. I was excited. I had my gift card. I went to the mega store in my town. I looked in the new books. No book. I looked in romances under each of the authors' names. No book. I looked everywhere it should have been and a few places it had no business being and, still, no book. Two days later, I was in the next city over. I went through the same drill at the other megastore and still, no book. Two days after that, I went back to the mega store in my town and—well, you get the picture. I finally got it at Target, which I did not want to do. I want my bookstores to stay in business so I want to buy from them.
I know it's on the tip of your tongue. "Jean, did you ask for help?"
I did not. You see, this has happened before and I have asked. It has never done one bit of good. And in spite of the fact that I was a librarian for 23 years, graduated from college, and matriculated quite successfully through the first grade, I just cannot seem to make heads or tails for the alphabet these days. I mean, they must have changed it. Or maybe I slept though the part where aliens abducted me and took to an alternate universe where T occurs right in the middle of the C's.
And today I went to the mega store in my town to take a gaze at the January category romances. There's a new Superromace with a quarterback for a hero that I am all aquiver about. No luck. The December books are still out.
So what did I do? I came home and pointed and clicked my way to what I want. The book will be on my doorstep Tuesday. I realize that isn't doing one thing to help me keep a bookstore in my town but, more and more, it seems, they aren't doing much to supply my demand.
So what's the answer? Where do you get your books?