TBIF – Thank blog it’s Friday! #3

Tuesday Thingers (hosted at The Boston Bibliophile)

Today’s question: Favorite bookstores. What’s your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?

A similar question was asked in a recent Booking Through Thursday, and I said:

(E)ven if Amazon.com disappeared overnight, I think there would still be other online booksellers to step in, and despite rumors of poor health,there still seem to be plenty of bricks-and-mortar (or stucco, or wood…you get the idea, some building material) bookstores around.Granted, many of them are chains like Borders or Barnes & Noble, but chain bookstores these days offer much more than the ones I remember from shopping malls when I was younger.

As it is, I live in a one-bookstore town – granted, it is a Borders, but that’s one of my biggest complaints about where I live -but if something happened to that bookstore, there are others within reasonable driving distance. While I do shop for books online when I know exactly what I want, it’s not the same experience as the physical wandering, discovery, and leafing through pages that happens in a bookstore itself, when I go in not looking for anything in particular and leave with four or five new additions to TBR purgatory.

Borders has been my favorite bookstore for over ten years now, regardless of where I’ve lived. I find browsing there a very pleasant experience, and I rarely leave empty-handed. Since I live ten minutes from the store in my town, it’s also very convenient to get to.I probably stop in at least once a month, and usually more than that. I didn’t have the local store marked as a “favorite” in Library Thing, but I took care of that before I wrote up this post; I haven’t really made much use of the LT Local options, but I think I’m going to start.However, when I need a specific book and want to find it quickly, I go straight to Amazon.com, where I get free two-day shipping as an Amazon Prime member.

The Los Angeles area has seen the demise of several long-established local bookstores during the last year or so, and none of them were very close to where I live. I’ve been intrigued by Vroman’s Bookstore when I’ve visited their booth at the Festival of Books,but since I don’t often get to Pasadena, I’ve never actually been to the store itself – and other than the Festival, I really don’t go to many local literary events.

Teaser Tuesday (hosted at Should Be Reading)

  • Grab your current read
  • Let the book fall open to a random page
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. NO SPOILERS!
  • Share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Leave a link to the blog post where you’ve shared your “Teaser“ in the comments to the week’s TUESDAY TEASER post at Should Be Reading. If you don’t have a blog, share the teaser in a comment on that week’s “Teaser” post.

Two new books have found their way into my house this week, thanks to a drop-in at Barnes & Noble last weekend; both are books I learned about from folks on my books blogroll.

“Well,there’s a shortage of boys with the war,” she said, picking up her cup. She continued to sit forward, her knees angled toward his.
Keeping the House, by Ellen Baker

At birthing class, I once heard the Giraffe say to Julia Child, “It’s time to get this thing out!” as if it were some kind of frozen ham that’d been stuffed down her shirt. I was not one of those women.
The Bright Side of Disaster, by Katherine Center

Booking Through Thursday: Gold Medal Reading

You, um, may have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now, so that’s the genesis of this week’s question, in two parts:
  • Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
  • Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?
And, Second:
  • Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
  • Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
  • (Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)
Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Part One: I don’t recall that I’ve ever read any books specifically about the Olympics. As an aside, though, I’ve been to the Olympics – the Centennial Games in Atlanta, in 1996. My(now-ex-)husband has family in the city, so we had a (free) place to stay, and we went to some of the lower-profile, less-expensive events -namely four days of volleyball and one water-polo match – but it was an exciting and memorable experience all the same. Even so, not that you asked, I’ve watched very little of this year’s Olympics on TV; too many other things going on, and I actually think the events of the Winter Games are better viewing anyway.

I don’t really seek out sports-related reading, generally. I did enjoy Richard Ford’s novel The Sportswriter, however, although I thought its sequel Independence Day was better. But better than either one was the true story that was so fascinating and well-written that I almost forgot it was about sports at all, let alone a sport that doesn’t interest me even on the first Saturday in May: Seabiscuit: An American Legend,by Laura Hillenbrand. I’ve never even liked horses all that much, but I can’t recommend the book highly enough. (Don’t knock yourself out to see the movie, though.)

Part Two: I raised a sports fan (you can read about how he got that way in this May ’08 post from his blog),but I don’t really share his obsessions. I like baseball, but that’s pretty much where it starts and stops for me. I might be more interested if I had a shred of athletic ability, but that is not the case; the so-called “sports” I tend to participate in are things like bowling and mini golf, and sometimes the occasional bobbing-around-the-pool that can only be very loosely described as swimming.

Sports do offer an excellent,inherently dramatic framework on which to hang a story, but I generally prefer to see that story at the movies or on TV rather than read it. I think that these stories work better visually, and I’ve enjoyed quite a few of them, even ones about sports I don’t like at all, like Rocky. That reminds me – I haven’t watched Field of Dreams for quite awhile, which is a perfect meeting of both a movie and a sport that I love.

Friday Fill-Ins #85 (hosted by Janet)

1. The last meal I had at a restaurant was at Marie Callender’s on Wednesday night – I got the Quiche and Salad Sampler.

2. Seriously underestimating how long it will take to do something, and then having to rush is something I intensely dislike.

3. The full moon looks so beautiful over the ocean.

4. “Y’all come back and see us” is one of my favorite local expressions (from back in Tennessee. Southern California isn’t really known for colorful local expressions – eventually, they all get written into scripts and the whole country ends up using them).

5. Sometimes it’s best to just cut your losses and move on.

6. Iron Man is the best movie I’ve seen so far this year! (But I suspect Janet is hoping everyone will say The Dark Knight for this one :-).)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to having the work week over with, tomorrow my plans include back-to-school shopping for the kids and Sunday, I want to be done with back-to-school shopping for the kids!

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  1. We have a B&N and Borders down the street from us. I like Borders better for some reason, my wife likes B&N better. Go figure. 🙂

    I'm not a huge sports fan but I have been watching this year. I don't know why. Maybe because I'm on vacation and it's on late. 🙂

    I thought Marie Callendar's was just a line of frozen meals. 🙂

  2. Mike – I find Borders to be more pleasant for random browsing, and that’s pretty much why I like them better.

    Usually I DO watch at least some of the Olympics, but I just haven’t this year. I think the time difference is a big factor – everything’s already been on the news before it’s shown in Pacific prime time.

    No, Marie has a chain of restaurants that started her in California, and they’re famous for their pies.

  3. Hey, hey!

    I love the teaser quote you listed from The Bright Side of Disaster! It’s actually one of my favorite lines in the book! So fun to see it getting attention. Hope you are liking Bright Side. I am just finishing up my 3rd novel today!! (The 2nd comes out in February of next year). Thanks so much for the post!!

  4. Katherine – Oh, I do love it when authors find me :-). I actually haven’t started the book yet, but I’ve heard good buzz and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I’m actually very curious to find out who “the Giraffe” and “Julia Child” are…

    Thanks for stopping by, and please come back when I get the review posted!

  5. Now I am in the mood for a Quiche and Salad Sampler from Marie's! Yum! We have a fairly new Barnes & Noble in town and it is a favorite stop. Borders is about twenty miles away and it's pretty good. I also buy on Amazon.
    I think sports stories are better on the screen too.

  6. The second teaser, that mentions Julia Child, totally intrigues me because I puffy pink heart Julia (even tho I know it's not about her).

    I LOVED Iron Man…it was my favorite of the movies I've seen this year (beating out Sweeney Todd [I know!] & CJ7) until I saw TDK. I have no doubt that not everyone will choose TDK as their favorite, it's definitely not everyone's cuppa 😉

  7. Jaimie – I like quiche more than I probably should, and it was particularly good the other night :-).

    I'd love to have both Borders and B&N in my 'burb, but every time something new gets built on one of the outparcels around the mall, it turns out to be a new chain…restaurant. Sigh. A two-bookstore town would be nice.

    Janet – Have you read Julie and Julia by Julie Powell? The author undertook a one-year project to make all the recipes in Volume 1 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I really enjoyed it.

    My husband agrees with you about TDK – he’s seen it three times already. I just didn’t find it as much fun as Iron Man.

  8. I shop B&N and Amazon online, but my favorite bookstore is the locally owned shop downtown. I keep going back because I love it.

  9. I started that book, Florinda, but haven’t finished it. I did read this one, tho and loved it: “My Life in France” written by Julia and her nephew, Alex Prud’Homme (if I’m not mistaken, he finished it after her death).

    Fun isn’t necessary a word I’d use to describe TDK. Mesmerizing, maybe? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that’s watched it multiple times! Ironman was totally fun, tho 🙂 Who knew Robert Downey Jr. would make such a great action hero!

  10. Daisy – I wish we had a good local bookstore here. Heck, I wish we had more than one bookstore in the first place (the couple of “adult bookstores” don’t count).

    Janet – The “fun” element is why I liked Iron Man.

    I’ve come close to buying A Life In France a few times; I might just give in next time.

  11. I was at Borders just today. 🙂 I was picking up a couple of gift cards for family who have birthdays later this month. I couldn’t very well walk out without a book, now could I?

    I think it’s great that you were able to go to some of the Olympic events in 1996. I haven’t been to an Olympics game, although I did go to the local trials once when I was still living in Sacramento. I got to see some of the track and field events. It was a lot of fun.

    And here, I couldn’t think of any local expressions. LOL I’m sure there must be some I use, but I drew a blank with that particular fill in.

    I hope you enjoy your weekend, Florinda!

  12. Alisonwonderland – School starts on the 27th here, and this is the only weekend the kids are with us before they go back, so we have our work cut out for us!

    JustAReadingFool – I actually have had Ford’s The Lay of the Land, which features the same lead character as The Sportswriter and Independence Day in TBR purgatory for awhile.

    And TDK is good, but not really “fun,” which was why I picked Iron Man.

    Literary Feline – Tall Girl has asked to go to Borders during back-to-school shopping; how could we say no :-)?

    You noticed that I had to use a local expression from a place I don’t live anymore…we really don’t have good ones around here, do we?

  13. I love BooksFree.com – it’s a Netflix for books. And yes, yes, I know I can do that thru a library, but those darn due dates kill me every time!

  14. April – I think I’ve heard of BooksFree, but I should check into it more closely. Due dates and operating hours are probably the two biggest reasons I don’t use the library myself. Thanks for the heads-up!