Monday, March 19, 2007

Bookstores Are Bad For Your Health

On Saturday, while my two oldest boys were at a four-hour long choir rehearsal, I decided to get some writing done. Made some good progress, too, but four-hours straight is too much for me, so at the 1 1/2 hour mark, I decided to make a trek to the nearby bookstore.

These days, I don't go into a bookstore all that often. If I don't get my books from the library, I get them from Amazon or something.

And I was reminded of something...that being in a bookstore can be a bad idea for wanna-be writers, such as myself. Bad, because each and every time I walk into a bookstore lately, instead of the joy of finding some new book I want to read, it is a panic-inducing mess of paperbacks and hardcovers. A mess that I'm just crazy enough to want my own book to not be a part of, because I want my book to be noticed and bought, rather than sit on the shelves.

There are books everywhere in a bookstore. I'm sure that's news to most of you. And I think to myself, "Why do I think my book is gonna make it among all this?"

So, I figure I needed to focus. Lemme see. Where might I find Jon Clinch's new book, Finn? Because he is getting grand reviews, it must be easy to find, right?

Well, sort of. I didn't bother checking the new release tables or anything, because I think there are more new release tables than actual bookshelves. So, I headed over to the "Fiction and Literature" section. (Not entirely sure why it is called "Fiction and Literature", as if those are mutually exclusive things they arbitrarily decided to shelve together.)

I found Finn. Two copies, spine out, among hundreds of other spine-out books. And guess what? It didn't really stand out at all. I mean, if I hadn't been looking for it, would I bother to pick it up?

Then I went to the teen section, looking for Ally Carter's book, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You. Not there. (But, she said the paperback is coming April 1, so I'll check then.)

Then, I fled from the store, blocking the entire experience from my head (rather unsuccessfully, as this account attests).

The only solace I found in the entire experience was that there were literally hundreds of people in the store. So, there are people buying books.

I can only hope one of them, eventually, will be my own.


Megan said...

Bookstores are mostly bad for my financial health.

Lyrehca said...

I love bookstores. I often look around them and think, "All these people can't be smarter than I am, so why shouldn't my work be among theirs?"