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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question seemed fairly apropos, because my vacation is next week, and I've actually been pondering what that will mean for my summer book buying:

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?

Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?

What/Where are they?

Books are pretty much the first thing I think of if I want souvenirs. (Well, if I'm in this country. I'll think twice when out of the country due to exchange rates, different pricing, etc, but that's another post.) I usually bring books with me when I travel, but I almost always underestimate my needs, so the souvenir purchases usually go to good use soon after I buy them.

One bookstore I enjoy visiting when I'm in the area is the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT, though I don't usually consider it a vacation stop, since it's near the BF's family home in Bennington, so we're usually in town for something non-vacation related. Anyway, it's a really great independent bookstore, with probably the best selection of any indy store I've ever seen. I particularly like their bargain books, because they tend to actually get books I'd like to read in that section, unlike your typical Borders or B&N. Oddly enough though, I think I may have bought more stationary there than books lately. Indy stores do tend to have really unique, interesting stationary, and this place is no exception. That was the only thing I bought there on my last trip, last weekend.

If we're on the kind of vacation where we've going to be doing a lot of driving, both the BF and I love finding used book stores. New England is definitely a great place to do that. Four or five years ago, we did a whole week around Vermont and New York, with the pass back through New Hampshire to get home, and we hit around a dozen used book stores. I brought home a large shopping bags' worth of books that took me about two years to get through. Heaven.

Used book stores are definitely hit or miss, but when you find a good one, it's like finding buried treasure. My favorite used book store is the Big Chicken Barn, which is on the outskirts of Ellsworth, Maine, where my father lives. We don't do a visit up in that area without a stop at the Chicken Barn (if nothing else, it's a great rainy day stop). I don't think I've ever gotten out their with less than half a dozen books.

Other than that, I actually like hitting Barnes and Noble when I'm on vacation. We don't have one where I live, and I find I like their selection a heck of a lot better then Borders. I definitely prefer indy stores, because you absolutely never know what you're going to find, but I will seldom resist the siren call of a B&N. If nothing else, I usually come out with a list of books to add to my find at the library list.

I'm actually spending my week long vacation this year home based, and I find I'm missing the idea of being able to do book shopping in a foreign land, as it were. I think I took the worst of the sting of that with our stops in VT and NH on our long weekend trip last week, but I'm still trying to decide if some sort of book day trip is order. I've half resolved to head up to Brunswick, as they have two yarn stores I've heard great things about, so I may have to investigate what kind of book stores are available in the area. Somehow, it just doesn't seem like vacation without at least one new book from a new store.

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