shopping, shopping

24 Aug

I’m just back from a very long but fun day of shopping in Winnipeg. The weather has cooled a bit since yesterday (not that I’m complaining about hot weather – I love it) so racing around from store to store was quite manageable.

When I visualised entering McNally Robinson, I pictured myself walking in, scoping out the place and then pretty much going, well, ballistic with my spending. Carrying a pile of books so high that I could barely see over it to make my way to the counter. In reality, I decided to buy only two novels, as I’m having trouble concentrating on my current reading whilst my TBR pile calls my name. I didn’t want to add too many voices to the calling. “HEY YOU,” the books call. “PUT DOWN THAT OLD BOOK YOU’RE READING AND READ ME INSTEAD. JUST LOOK HOW NEW I AM AND HOW PRETTY MY COVER IS.”

Anyway, I purchased two very promising titles from two excellent Canadian authors: Cockroach by Rawi Hage, and The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews. I also purchased a gold-covered journal for my sister’s birthday (I haven’t told her I started a blog, so I’m not giving away the surprise). I also bought a cute coin purse made of recycled materials and two pretty hair clips handmade in Winnipeg, also for my sister, so they’ll be on their way to Melbourne tomorrow.

The two moose fellows are clearly from a far less high-brow store than McNally Robinson, and were purchased at the Forks today for some children I know back in Australia. They’re in the picture because they’re cute though, eh?

When I asked the saleswoman at McNally Robinson if she had read Cockroach or the Flying Troutmans she said, to my surprise and disappointment, that she hadn’t, but that she’d heard great things about them. I don’t know why I expect staff in bookstores to have read the books I’m buying. When I worked in a bookstore I had hardly read anything that we sold. I was too busy, you know, working. If the truth be told, I think I really wanted the saleswoman to say, “Yes, I have read them both, and you have excellent taste”. Or even better: “Yes, I’ve read them both, and you have excellent taste. You are clearly a super-cool person, and as I am a super-cool indie bookstore employee, I would like us to be friends”. Then we would walk off into the sunset, or the nearest coffee shop at least, and talk about our excellent taste in books.

When I worked in a book store, I wanted to be a customer instead, browsing at my leisure and not having to wear the dorky book store uniform. Now that I’m the customer, I want to be the super-knowledgeable cool geek who’s working the till.

Ok, clearly I need sleep. Good night.

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9 Responses to “shopping, shopping”

  1. Fiona August 24, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you for your kind comment on my craft blog – I do have a new on for the Global Reading Challenge but there’s very little on it and I can’t remember the link! However, I can enter through my Blogspot Dashboard, so all is not lost. Happy reading to you (and I shall be checking out your blog regularly).

    • PrairieJournals August 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

      Thanks for visiting, Fiona. I will be checking out your blog regularly too. Maybe I can learn how to make some of the beautiful crafts you make 😉

  2. steph August 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Bee: This post made me smile. Having so far only read two or three, I already feel we’re kindred spirits. Come visit Belleville and I will be the indie bookseller friend on your shopping day.

    As it is, however, I will look at your titles and say, “Yes, I’ve read [many of the books you’re reading or have read], and you have excellent taste. You are clearly a super-cool person, and as I am a super-cool indie bookstore employee, I would like us to be friends.” I really liked The Troutmans. Funny and real and filled with quirky characters. And I hope you’re loving Eat Pray Love. Gilbert is one of my very favourite authors. Sometimes I felt as though we were the same person. I’ve read her Pilgrims and Stern Men as well, and loved them and am jealous of her writing, and also I read Committed (which I thought was good, but is the least favourite of mine). Well, I sound as though I’ve read a lot, but as I said, my to-read pile is extensive. I haven’t yet read Cockroach.

    Hmmm, I have a feeling we could chat for hours. Too bad we’re so far away.

  3. steph August 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    PS. I understand this completely: When I worked in a book store, I wanted to be a customer instead, browsing at my leisure and not having to wear the dorky book store uniform. Now that I’m the customer, I want to be the super-knowledgeable cool geek who’s working the till.

    That’s why now I am both. 🙂

  4. PrairieJournals August 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Ha ha, thanks Steph. Glad to know there is one indie bookstore employee I can count on 😉
    After reading many book blogs I feel like there must be lots of us out there with these preoccupations with, not just books, but also libraries and bookstores and anything literary. I can’t remember ever feeling any other way, but I didn’t realise until recently how many people share the love.

    • steph August 26, 2010 at 2:55 am #

      I was just saying that to my hubby yesterday: how totally cool it is to find so many like minds! I love that there are others who buy more books than they can read, who have the idea to ban themselves from buying books, though it never works, and so on. It’s quite amazing. Though I admit, I’m a tiny bit disappointed that so many are women; I haven’t found any by men that I like enough to subscribe yet.

      • PrairieJournals August 27, 2010 at 12:47 am #

        I too have had trouble finding blogs by men that I would want to read regularly. I’ve found a few bookish ones, but they have lacked the human side that keeps me reading. I always want to know a bit about the blogger’s life as well as the books they read. Maybe that’s a girl thing?

  5. steph August 26, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    PS. I’d love to subscribe to this blog but can’t see the RSS button. Is there one?

    • PrairieJournals August 27, 2010 at 12:48 am #

      Thank you! And yes, I had unwittingly deleted the button. It’s now back! Thanks for drawing it to my attention to that!

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