Some observations at B&N

I’ll just throw it out in the open…  I’m a huge fan of ebooks.  I’ve been reading them on my iPod for a couple of years now with the ereader app with most purchased from Fictionwise.  I can’t remember how I settled on that particular combination, but it’s been working for me for awhile.  I started looking for other options when the last Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson novel came out.  I was on a road trip from North Dakota to New Mexico and needed something to read *rightnow*. 

These days I’ve been using the Kindle app.  Since I’m reading books on the same screen I haven’t noticed any kind of advantage to either program.  I’d like to get a dedicated ereader some day.  Probably a Kindle, but color Nooks look tempting.  I have digressed totally from my original intent.  I think ebooks are the future, but we have some fantastic used bookstores in town so I can’t write off paper back books quite yet. 

I went to the bookstore today with a mission.  I wanted to buy a recently published YA novel, preferably, but not limited to, a paranormal romance.  I spent the better part of an hour looking at the six sections of shelving the store allocated to YA books.  Forget about the 6 each aisles of games, toys, and stationary, it’s hard to find actual books in a bookstore.

My intention is to really study the book and write notes in the margin and attack the text with highlighters until I really see what writing a book is about.  Pouring words on paper?  Turns out I’m very accomplished at that bit.  Making it compelling fiction?  I’m not so sure. 

With that in mind, I didn’t want to buy a hardback and pay a premium price for something that I will most likely render unreadable when I’m finished and an ebook wouldn’t work either.  What I noticed is that nearly all the books at my local B&N are hardback books. 

Of the paperbacks I found available for purchase, none were mass market sized and they all had the price tag you’d expect for a trade novel.  I’d say about 98% of my books are mass market paperbacks and besides the price factor, it’s incredibly hard to shelve the larger books with the rest of my library.  Not a deal breaker and a pretty petty complaint, I’ll agree, but still. 

I also noticed that a sizable chunk of the books for sale were reprints of books I read when I was a teen back in the 90’s.  On that note, I’d totally recommend LJ Smith to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal.  I just did a quick search to see if she had a blog to link and this is the first I knew of it.  I’m totally going to stalk her now.  I’ve been a huge fan since the 7th grade.  If I could have dated Nick from her Secret Circle series, I could have quit my long standing, unrequited crush on my now boyfriend and my life would be in a totally different place right now.  That series of books has stuck with me for years and really colors this trilogy I’m writing now.  I may have to write an entire post dedicated to my love of LJ Smith.  It’s passionate and deep.

Ahem.  Moving right along. 

I couldn’t find a paranormal that was either not in hardback or a reprint so I went in a different direction and bought a book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile, The Compound by S.A. Bodeen.  A boy and his billionaire family go underground into a lavish structure his father built to avoid nuclear warfare.  Years pass and the boy starts to question whether things outside of the compound are as bad as his dad has led them all to believe. 

I know I said I’d only review books I bought for $5 or under, but I think I’ll do this one too once I’ve read it .  I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I’m digging what I’ve read to this point.  I like post apocalyptic books and movies though so I think I’m probably predisposed to enjoy something like this.

After B&N I headed to the used bookstore with a couple of my minions.  The youngest stayed home though.  He’s a nightmare when shopping.  So we three amigos spent even more time lost in stacks of books.  Shopping there is pretty hit or miss.  You might be able to find a best selling novel there for half the cover price or you might not find anything written in the last decade.  This seems especially the case with YA.  Except Harry Potter and the Twilight books.  Those are always hanging around.

I got a couple of adult books just for fun. One, The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker because we just got done watching the first two Hellraiser movies over the past couple of nights and I’ve never read the novella they were based on and the second, Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill because I’ve heard amazing things about his writing.  There’s a picture of him on the back and he looks uncannily like his father. 

I also picked up a copy of both Witch Season: Summer & Fall by Jeff Mariotte, which I’ve never heard of, but I saw a copy at B&N earlier and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, which I’ve heard a lot good things about even though it’s older than I am even. 

I’m excited to dig in.  As if my TBR list wasn’t already longer than my arm.  It’s a happy plight.

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