There’s one thing you should know about me: my patience-meter for shopping and doing groceries is incredibly short. I even doubt my womanhood sometimes, because, well, society expects us to be good—and fond—of these things. Apparently, I’m not the type who can spend hours and hours strolling around from aisle to aisle, trying on shoes and clothes. Just not my idea of fun, I guess. Or maybe I’m just too lazy. Read: I fall nowhere near the ideal wife category.
Anyway, being a bibliophile makes you love all things related to reading no matter how you originally hate them. This is why despite my very low tolerance of shopping, I tremendously enjoy shopping for books. You could leave me alone at a bookstore and I swear I could stay there for hours without ever being bored. Heck, I wouldn’t even know I’ve stayed there for that long. Time just flies whenever I gaze fondly at the colorful lovely shelves filled with book spines. It makes me happy like a kid left by my lonesome on a toy store.
However, we are all well aware that even the things most dear to us will never be without faults. So in as much as I love book shopping, there are still things about it which I just could not stand.
5. Hearing the word out-of-stock/ unavailable.
I know that most of the time people just casually stroll around to find things they might want to buy, but I was never that person. I was never a fan of aimless window shopping and wasting time trying to find something that will catch your fancy and make you want to spend moolah on it. Admittedly, I have sporadic episodes where I just visit bookshops when I have time in my hands and don’t have anything else to do. But frequently, and I mean eighty-eight percent of the time, I book-shop with a mission—armed with a hitlist of hunted books and the images of their book cover designs etched in my mind. So you can definitely picture my dismay whenever a book I am so intending to bring home is ahhhh-I-hate-this word: Out-of-stock or worse, not yet available locally. It’s like showing up all excited on a first date, only to find that your date couldn’t make it after all because something urgent came up. Unmet expectations and the effortless way they drain all the adrenaline of book-shopping; It just pisses the life out of me.
4. Chaotic Shelf Arrangements, Confusing store design plans & messy bargain piles.
I find the idea of labyrinths romantic—but not on my bookstores whenever I shop. Sure, I’m all for fancy-shmancy elaborate store design plans and creative shelf arrangements, but intricacy dances a very thin line between classy and confusing. I appreciate bookstores’ effort in making their shops decorative and grand for book-lovers, but just like my general philosophy on fashion, comfort always comes first. It annoys me when shelf arrangements and genre classifications make me dizzy. I know there’s always the information counter handy for whenever I’m already at my wits end and still couldn’t locate a book, but I wanted the adventure of finding my treasures all by myself. This is petty, but finding a book I really want to have a copy of is something I consider a triumph, and this can only be sweet when I know I am the one who found it.
3. Spoiler-laden Back Cover Blurbs
Book synopses are supposed to entice or lure you into buying a book and not scare you with a freaking summary and information overload of the book’s entire content. I think pretty much everyone can agree that spoilers wouldn’t be called spoilers for nothing—they ruin what can be a very promising reading experience by unnecessarily letting you know in advance what’s gonna happen. Metaphorically, it’s like striking the perfect balance on flirting—teasing without showing too much. I know that I’ve also been saying how much a book cover design matters to me, but a well-written story synopsis is essentially my gauge for judging whether a book’s promise is worth taking or not. Dealbreakers, you can say, that either makes or breaks my heart.
2. Uncooperative Wallets.
Do I need to explain this one? Everyone hates being penniless on a massive-sale period, and it’s just plain unlucky to have to miss out on huge discounts and deals when everyone else is posting their book hauls right before your eyes. It’s pure torture.
1. My inner impulse-bookshopper.
Allow me to explain why I’m gonna contradict myself here. I just stated a few paragraphs ago that I’m the kind of shopper who never goes to a store without a to-buy-list on hand, and now why am I confessing to being an impulse-buyer? Because we all are, secretly. There will always be times and instances where opportunities to buy books are just so hard to resist and our self-restraint, feeble. This happens to me every now and then. On my way to seeking a book I wanted to buy, something will catch my eye and I will take the time to look at it and examine what it’s all about and whether it’s good, and before I knew it, I have already forgotten about the book I initially planned to have. Once I remember, I will fidget, I will panic. And then comes the hesitation and the subsequent indecisiveness of suddenly being torn between two wants. Ah, the impossibility and stress of choosing!
But then at the end of the day, it will always come down to this: I would never get tired of shopping for books because, well, despite everything, I don’t consider it a chore but a privilege, a reward for myself for being a good girl. Haha. And it makes me really, really happy.