Monday, July 27, 2015

Blogoversary Celebration: Breaking my Resolution!

You see this face? Not the face of reason.
Face of absolute bliss and strung-out excitement?
So, this past Friday marked my Fifth Blogoversary... the 5th anniversary of me starting Playing in the Pages. Sad to say, I only realized this about two weeks ahead of the game, so any efforts to do something really drastic were laid aside, to see what a rational means of celebrating might look like.

There were a couple of good choices. I fluctuated between going down to Powell's in Portland, or even The Last Bookstore in LA, or whether I should buy only one book, or shirk my Resolution for a complete 24 hours. At one point, the plan was even to buy five books from each of my five favorite bookstores, spanning Seattle and Tacoma in one big book-centered day of driving.

Finally, it came to me: Five books from one bookstore, that was the decision I made. It seemed the most reasonable, and threw in a strict boundary that not only forced me to choose carefully, but provided a fun kind of tension once I started to actually pick the few titles I wanted immediately. And believe me, I had a list going in the Notes app on my iPhone for that entire two week period, of what kinds of novels I was going to invest my scant amounts of freedom into for the rest of the year. If 2015 was going to be the year I only bought five books, I was going to have to make them great ones.

I honestly cannot express to you the excitement I felt upon entering these doors. Kind of comparable to walking under the arches under the train tracks when you first enter Disneyland, I think. 
I hope to God someone over at the Pacific Place Barnes and Noble gets ahold of a good building layout specialist. Whoever organizes the shelves and tables over there needs a serious dose of organizational know-how.

The day before the celebration, I had a list of about 11, which I managed to whittle down to 7 in the car on the way there. The plan was originally going to feature notable Seattle bookstore Elliot Bay Book Company - maintaining that "wow" factor that might have come from a journey out of town, but preserving gas money and mileage - but unfortunately, the day's confluence with the Capitol Hill Block Party put that plan out of commission.

Instead, we made our way to the closest Barnes and Noble: in Downtown Seattle, at Pacific Place. In not purchasing books, and instead, learning to love the quiet patience, quick availability, and friendly service of the local libraries in Tacoma, I had completely forgotten what an absolute nuthouse a crowded bookstore is.

My chosen few! Aren't they pretty?
There weren't any rhyme or reason to the seemingly arbitrary layout of the store, and I was losing my mind, running between shelves and sections, thinking to myself, "If they've got the sequel hidden low on the table of New Releases towards this corner, then what the hell is its predecessor doing at the top of a shelf literally 100 feet away?" People were walking in front of my rows while I was doggedly perusing, and more than once, someone decided that the middle of an aisle was the right place to hold a conversation. Between an inefficient store layout, confusing shelving system, and infuriating clientele, I was losing my mind in Barnes and Noble. Naturally, I was also ecstatic.

Out of the 7 books that remained on my list, 5 of the titles were actually available in store that day... and 3 of them with only one copy to spare. Holding that many titles in the crook of my arm cramped my wrist - and doing my best to ignore the inflated price tags, especially for the hardcovers, gave me a serious headache! - but I can tell you, I hadn't been happier in a while.

Then, naturally, and because I will never be 100% satisfied with how my shelves look, I sped off to the library back in Tacoma half an hour before closing the day following, and picked up 8 more titles... not to mention the 4 that I downloaded onto my Kindle. 

The library additions. (More like addictions.)

(Hi, my name is Savannah, and I am a Book Addict.)

So, how do you think I should have spent my 5th Blogoversary? What do you think of the titles I picked up? Which ones would you have picked differently? Let me know, in the comments below! 

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