SOLC 2014: A Trip to the Bookstore


“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”

~ Erasmus ~

I had no business going to the bookstore this afternoon. The number of yet-to-be-read books in my house is embarrassing. But, I had to have a copy of Fancy Nancy, by Jane O’Connor, for our PTO’s Silent Auction Saturday evening. (A colleague and I host a Fancy Nancy tea party for the winner.) So I tidied my desk quickly so I could get to the store before closing time.

Once I found Fancy Nancy, I had a few minutes to browse. After all, who can go into a bookstore and buy just one book? This is what I brought home:


  • My Life in Middlemarch (Crown, 2014) by Rebecca Mead. I love Middlemarch, George Eliot’s depiction of 19th-century English provincial life, which Virginia Woolf described as a “magnificent book which, with all it’s imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” When I heard about Mead’s new “lively meditation on Middlemarch” (Adelle Waldman), I knew I had to have a copy.
  • A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature (Candlewick Press, 2010) by Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano. Publisher’s Weekly described A Family of Readers as a “collection of essays and interviews designed to help parents foster a love of reading in children, while providing insight into the craft of children’s bookmaking.” I have wanted this book since it was published, and there it was on the shelf, as if it was waiting just for me this afternoon.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success (Little, Brown, 2008) by Malcolm Gladwell. My adult book group is reading this book this month. Usually I pick up each month’s book at the library, but I wanted my own copy of Gladwell’s acclaimed book so I could “mull over its inventive theories for days afterward” (David Leonhardt, writing in The New York Times).

Happy reading, everyone!

Thank you, as always, to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth for hosting the Slice of Life Challenge. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

11 thoughts on “SOLC 2014: A Trip to the Bookstore

  1. I so wish I had a book store close by. I usually buy online, but there is nothing like slowing browsing the shelves and finding surprises as you did. Happy reading!


  2. Love your quote, and that you can’t walk out of a bookstore without a pile. Middlemarch is on my list, too. I heard Rebecca Mead speak on NPR and she was wonderful to listen to. I hope you share what you think of it. Outliers is one I go back to a lot. I really enjoy Malcolm Gladwell.


  3. I love browsing in book stores. Just wish we had one near by, but I have to settle with Amazon. Thanks for sharing your book choices.


  4. Whenever I feel down, I go to our local Indie bookstore. It always makes me feel better. I don’t have any business being in there either! I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I have read Outliers and it’s great book. I just got Gladwell’s new book David and Goliath and am almost finished reading. Love the research that he does and his books always add another dimension to my thinking. Enjoy it.


  5. One of my favorite things to share is my finds when I go to the bookstore. I love taking pictures on my phone of all the books I have in the stack at the beginning. Then when I weed out the one or two I can’t or shouldn’t afford, I still have a record of the ones that interested me. I still have three books to read from my Christmas trip to Barnes and Noble.


  6. Can’t go to a bookstore without buying more than one book, of course. And the minute I saw your title, I thought “hurrah”! I’ve never read Middlemarch, sorry to say, and now you’ve made me interested, Catherine. I read Roger Sutton’s blog all the time, am sure that book is wonderful, and love The Outliers, and all of Gladwell’s books-fascinating. Oh the wonderful life we lead, right? Thank you!


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