I used to shop at Barnes and Noble all the time, just because it was the closest bookstore I had. And now a new Independent (Indie) bookstore has opened closer to where I stay (compared to B&N). And this bookstore is great! Last time I visited this bookstore, they were about to close and I did not get much time to browse through the books. So this time I went in the afternoon when I had plenty of time to explore the various shelves and to get an idea of what kind of books they had. I am impressed with this bookstore so probably will visit it many more times in the future.
There was a time when I used to visit a bookstore, browse through the shelves, read the blurb and then buy a book that I liked. These days I have started reading reviews online and order the books online as I already know which book to get. For some reason, I am not liking this anymore as I have no freedom to choose what I want to read and I just follow the crowd blindly. I read basically what everyone else is reading and that is not always what I want to read. So I guess it is sometimes nice to browse and select a book without looking at its ratings on Goodreads or without going through a billion reviews online.
This is what I did this weekend. I went to this Indie store and browsed through every single book on their “Science fiction” and “Fiction” shelf. I realized that I had heard of most of the books and authors on these shelves, thanks to all those book reviewers out there. I recently got to know that “The minority report” movie which had Tom Cruise in it was actually based on a short story written by Philip K. Dick and when I saw a book that had this story, along with some of the other stories which have been converted into movies (like “Total Recall”), I decided to get this book.
And I already finished reading “The Minority Report” from this book and absolutely loved it (gave it 5/5 stars). I loved the movie too but it had been a while since I saw it so I did not remember the ending. Because of this I was shocked with the ending. It was written extremely well. Now I have a collection of such stories to read whenever I want.
Next I saw the book “The Road” on sale and I bought it as I did not own a good copy of that book. I have already read that book and is one of my favorites so I decided to pick that book.
I then went to browse some of the other shelves. Seeing a book by “Cormac McCarthy” in my hand, one of the attendants there asked me if I liked McCarthy’s books. I said “The Road” was one of my favorites ever and that I also loved the movie. He said this was the only book by McCarthy that he could not finish, but he did like the movie. We also spoke about how McCarthy should win Nobel Prize someday. He asked me if I had read any other books by this author. I sadly had not read, even though I had been wanting to read for quite sometime. I had been eyeing “No country for old men” but was not sure if it was my type. He then told me that all the books written by McCarthy are kind of interrelated so it is better to start with the first book which is “Blood Meridian”. “The Road” is supposed to be the end. He also said that it was his most favorite McCarthy book and that it is based in 1800s in US Texas – more of a western kind of story. I was immediately interested in this book as I have not read a western book so far. So I picked this book up as this was the first time somebody recommended a book to me in a bookstore –
Then he saw the Philip K. Dick book in my hand and said he has met him when he was young and also shook his hands with the author. He also told me that Philip Dick was based in Oakland, California (which I did not know) and that when he met the author, he had no idea who it was, until someone told him.
Overall, it was amazing talking to people who have actually read books and can recommend some good books to you looking at the kind of books that you are buying. My experience reminded me of “You’ve got mail” movie where this is exactly what Meg Ryan says is good about an indie bookstore.
Have you visited any indie bookstore? What was your experience?
You are absolutely right. Do not go by others’ reviews and comments. Same is true for movies also.. The Minority Report. I did not read the book. But i watched the movie. It was fantastic.
Very true SG. We should read/watch what we like. Even I love that movie a lot.
I didn’t like ‘no country for old men’ – the movie. Not sure how I’d find the book. I am somewhat hesitant to pick up books by indie authors. Why don’t you write a post on your criteria for selecting a book. Could be useful for others..
I have not seen that movie even though one of my friends really liked it. But even I was not sure I would like it as it looked more of an action movie. I have not read any independent authors actually, other than those who are friends. I will write a post on how I select the books I read.
I do prefer Independent stores over the “chains”. Somehow I feel the indi stores are less influenced by big publishers & their stocks & list are more genuine & honest .
Very true Avinash. I had no idea what I was missing all these days, as I have always visited the chains.
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