Q&A Tuesday: what’s your favorite section in a bookstore?

One of my favorite indulgences is a few solitary hours in a bookstore, coffee in hand.  I haven’t done that since we moved overseas, because 1. the English sections of bookstores here are pretty miniscule (as to be expected, of course), and 2. people here don’t walk around with coffee drinks – you sit down and drink them.

So this is something I am giddily anticipating.  The first opportunity for some alone time, and I know exactly what I’ll be doing.

My question for you today:

You have two hours alone in a bookstore.  No kids.  No agenda.  What section in the store do you investigate first, and what types of books do you settle in to explore?

Feel free to share specific books you’ve loved recently!

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. An interesting cookbook or a book on health.

    Laine Chambers’s last blog post…Slippin’ and a Slidin’!

  2. First I start by gathering magazines…scrapbooking, cooking, photography and maybe photoshop. Then move to the fiction section to find some fun, fluffy books–you know the ones, they are just the right size in your hands and the topic is something no deeper than shopping. But then we need to add a little intellectual stimulation to the stack–so off to the organization, self-help, cooking and/or Christian sections. Once my arms are laden down with the perfect browsing books, I find a comfy chair and settle in to read and sip my coffee.

  3. I really enjoy going through the spirituality, self-help section and the cookbook section. I’ll grab a huge stack of books then find a comfy chair and flip through them all. Sometimes I’ll even go into the humor section and find a Dave Barry book or something like that.

    Writing this makes me want to go to the bookstore real bad.

    Chelsey @ Brown Eyed Basics’s last blog post…Mom’s chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole

  4. Ah bookstores. I have a rather set round of our Barnes and Noble. I hit the magazine rack to see the latest Spin-off, then head for the language and photography books. If there’s time I browse the kids’ educational, history, bargain section, and occasionally the kids graphic novel section (this is my no brainer read).

    Avlor’s last blog post…“Lightscoop” wanna be (for now)…

  5. I usually head straight to the travel section, pass by the classic novels (I love the matching Penguin covers they do those in!), and maybe some new photography magazines, or Real Simple magazine if they’ve got a copy (I always read this in Borders as it’s imported over here and super expensive!).

    Emma’s last blog post…September Round-up.

  6. I typically start out at the magazine section, then move on to the new fiction. I can always find a new book out that looks good enough to buy! Then I’ll check out the craft section and then self help books. Now that my kids are in school full time I find I spend more and more time at the bookstore. It was never any fun to shop with them! 🙂

  7. I am a sucker for magazines. I don’t get any subscriptions anymore so that’s my little treat about once a month or so to go and get a latte and read magazines.

    I do also venture into the books. I have so little time these days, that I usually just hit the “recommended” shelf or “most popular” table and browse those.

    Then I always go into the fiction section to see if Wally Lamb has a new book out yet. I’ve been waiting for ages.

    Emily’s last blog post…Your Stuff Is Talking About You

  8. straight ahead to the craft books! load as many as i can into my arms, maybe grab a cookbook or two, then swing by the magazine section. next step: locate a table or comfy chair and dive right in…

    (i too, used to spend *hours* alone in the bookshop – a rare luxury now with two young kids – and it is still one of my favorite escapes!)

    liz’s last blog post…the princess and the pea

  9. Interesting that we seem to have similar tastes: I always hit the cooking section, then self-help (health, home organization, etc.) and history section. I’ll hit the children’s section for my boys, then the magazines on the way out. Thinking about this, I realize I never actuallly sit down – other than cross legged in an aisle for a moment. I never get that much time in a bookstore – but what a worthy indulgence! Next time I’ll stake out a comfy chair.

    Erin’s last blog post…On the night stand …

  10. If I’m by myself and not on a time schedule, I will look at everything. I love book stores and am afraid of missing something wonderful if I stay in one section.

    I will, however, definitely make sure I hit up the classics, fiction, knitting, and anything else that tickles my fancy at the time.

    tabitha’s last blog post…Buying Our Home

  11. 2 hours in a bookstore solo…that would be heavenly! I would hit the fiction section first, then magazines. I love looking at the photography mags, but I’d love to browse some new fiction!

    Tracie’s last blog post…Maymont Park

  12. I love the thought of it already. I would probably go for a photography book of sorts. I love to try to figure out why people take the pictures they do and what they were feeling/thinking at the time!

    Also, a recent super read…Mistaken Identity by Van Ryn, Cerak, and Mark Tabb. “The families of Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak tell their true stories. Two families, one survivor, unwavering hope.” Incredible on so many levels.

    jackie.’s last blog post…saturday.fun

  13. I get my coffee and go straight for the knitting/sewing/crafting section. I pull out all the new or newish books and take my stack to a (hopefully) vacant chair and sit and look through them all. I write down the titles I want to look for in my library and then reshelve all the books. 🙂

  14. Wow, I don’t remember the last time I went to any book store and didn’t go right to the kids section. I am teaching myslef to crochet so I would go to the craft section first, but the best instructional books on things like that are often found in the kids section. And if I get in the kids section I can’t seem to get out. 🙂 But if I did get out I would head to the decorating section. So many books, and so little time.

    Stephanie’s last blog post…Looking Back to Look Ahead

  15. ohgoodohgod where do I start??? 😀 that’s a day in *heaven*, seriously…

    I would try to hit the clearance section, magazines, craft books,and possibly glance at the education section, then I woudl go to the children’s section to look at the cool & expensive reference books with popups and stuff.

  16. I head straight for the Business and Investment section. Like a moth to the flame … I can’t help it.

  17. Oh, I’m all over the cookbooks (gluten-free for DH) and the sewing and quilting books. A cup of coffee is the icing on the cake!

    angela’s last blog post…and so it begins

  18. I start off in the magazine area (that can take a good 20 minutes) followed by the Home/Decorating/Cooking area. I generally stop for a coffee and cake break and then onto the fiction and see if there is anything new that I want to get. I generally finish up at the kids books to see if there is anything new I can surprise my daughter with. Okay it’s worrying me now that I never browse anything else!

    Liz@VioletPosy’s last blog post…Having bit of a panic attack…

  19. I’m liking Francine Rivers lately. I’m reading the last in her series about the 5 women in Jesus’ lineage. It’s awesome! Makes them seem like real people with real trials.

    And coffee. I’d definitely have coffee. Probably a mocha with carmel and either vanilla or hazelnut. My 3 fav combos. Oh! Or a zebra mocha with raspberry. Now you’ve got me thinkin’ coffee. Man!

    Caitlin’s last blog post…Fingerprint Friday

  20. Well the first section I look through is almost always the clearance rack – what books can I get for $2-5… Then I usually meander through the new books, the on display books, then look at my favorite authors. Typically when I go off to peruse a handful of books it will include a mystery book or two, some fluffy fiction, something from the young adult section and then some kind of non fiction from religion / history / biography / or food & diet related….

    Jen E’s last blog post…Roll Out The Welcome Wagon

  21. I love to look at pretty editions of the classics or of books I’ve truly enjoyed. And if I’m in a foreign country, I’ll buy “The little price” by Antoine de Saint-Exupèry, in the language of the country. I already have it inSpanish, Catalan, English, French, Greek, German, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.

    Gracia’s last blog post…Youngsters saving money.

  22. Oh, I love going to Half Price Books (where i was once employed) and exploring the whole store. I do tend to linger in the craft section and I have to look at the picture books even if I’m alone. My last stop is always the teacher section where I fuel my fragile urge to home school by observing how cheap the curriculum is!

  23. I check out the crafty/household books, the best-sellers/recommended, the “God” section, and the pretty pretty stationery/journals… and probably the sale racks too.
    I basically love bookstores, and will go pretty much anywhere. Plus – it’s hard to imagine two whole uninterrupted hours… sounds fabulous!

    Katie’s last blog post…powerful stuff

  24. How the store is set up usually guides me. Usually novels are near the front so I lazily browse those, seeing if there are any books I have heard about recently that spark my interest.

    I will without fail wander to the political/historical section and spend some time there (the last two times I have been to the bookstore I have ALMOST bought the autobio of Nelson Mandela – maybe next time?). After that I will usually wander over to the religious/spiritual section and check out some of the more eastern leaning books. Lately I have wandered over to the money management section as well!

    Even if it is me time I without fail at least glance at the children and young adult books because while I usually won’t by anything for myself but the boys are another matter altogether.

    And of course I spend a long time longingly thumbing through the blank journals.

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins’s last blog post…Reader Survey – Please oh Please Respond!

  25. I would browse the fiction and look for both chick lit and thought provoking best seller type books to add to my “check out at the library” list. Then I’d head over to the stationary and gifts, I love pretty things. If I had any time after that I would look at photography & travel books

    UncommonBlonde’s last blog post…Delivered with a Smile

  26. What a treat that would be, pre children this is what I did every Saturday I loved mulling over book shelves, if I had a choice it would have to be the craft department, to flick through all those books for inspiration, a short visit to an inspiring section to either spiritually or motivational….What a treat this would be.

    Suzie Sews’s last blog post…A change is in the air…

  27. Clearance racks first. then spirituality, kids/education/parenting, cooking/nutrition, business, languages, then browse the other non-fiction to see if anything floats my boat.

    With a nice hot chocolate (sorry coffee is too bitter to me). Does that disqualify me 🙂 ?

    Jen’s last blog post…Money Monday is moving…

  28. I would check out the newest in trade paperbacks first, a stroll through the teen reads (for my girls) and finish with the cookbooks. There’s nothing better than new books (and coffee for you!). Enjoy your B&N time.

    Nancy’s last blog post…Tomatoes + Blender

  29. saunaknitter says:

    I’d go straight to the knitting section! Then if I don’t use up all of my time there I’ll go to the magazines. I love reading all types of books, but these are what I would browse in the store.

  30. I love this question. You really are a girl after my own heart. I live in a small town and we just got a Barnes and Noble about 6 months…and I completely love it. I grew up in Chicago so I am used to bookstores! Anyway, I usually start in the Art section. Gather some design books. Grab a few photography books. Then I settle in and browse and pick a few to take home. Then I make my way to the fiction, see what is new, what looks good, and grab one of those too. I also have a sick addiction to children’s books. I spend the rest of my time there, looking for something for each of my little boys. My latest and greatest find is a book called One by Kathryn Otoshi. It is so unique and so beautiful.

    Holly O.’s last blog post…Happy Birthday Dad

  31. I spend most of the time in the bargain books, especially the cookbooks and children’s books. Never, never, never pay full price for a book! I like to look at the craft and decorating books. I would never sit down and read a magazine without buying it though – that feels like stealing somehow…I keep all my magazines for years so I can re-read them over and over. It’s the pictures that draw me in most of all . Isn’t there something theraputic and healing about being in a book store?

  32. The writing/reference section. And fiction. Yum.

  33. I love going to bookstores! My hubby and I used to spend Sat. morning at Borders (before kids!) getting a coffee and reading! 🙂
    I usually only have time to hit magazines and decorating sections anymore! I used to love to read novels (murder mystery especially), but don’t seem to have the time or brain power as a busy mom! lol!!


    Stacey @ The Blessed Nest’s last blog post…Globe Bowl Project

  34. For it is always the arts and crafts section which would include photography and how-tos. I love books that inspire creativity!

    Trish’s last blog post…My "baby" is 2!

  35. I look for my favorite authors first. Mercedes Lackey and Amy Thompson (who no one ever carries. *sobsob*.)

    Then I look at the ‘coffee table’ type books. 🙂

    Angie’s last blog post…Auditioning Do’s and Don’ts!

  36. Enter door, turn right, proceed to in-store Starbucks. With extra hot, grande cinnamon dolcé in hand I head over to the “new arrivals” to see if James Patterson is still writing faster than I am reading. Make mental note of the hardbacks I will read as soon as its paperback is released. Next I check the ‘new in paperback’ rack, looking for Patterson, Koontz, DeMille, or Slaughter in particular. One of those four always has a new one and I am contractually obligated to buy it. I usually browse the self-help section until I realize that none of the other self-help books I’ve purchased have worked. I then conduct a serpentine tour of the entire store, stopping occasionally as something catches my eye to read the book jacket, all the while making mental notes of all the books I still intend to write. Make slurping noise to get the last drop out of the cup as I approach the magazine rack. Look for new issue of MacLife, Wired, and Bicycling. Choose one and then look for a ‘guilt offering’ magazine for Karen (your mother, ya know) to make up for the time gone and to salve my conscience for my selfish purchases (one for me – one for her; it’s worked okay for 34 years). If there is a line at the register, a quick lap through the gadget, blank journals, doodads area. I must touch as many Moleskines as possible as I imagine their necessity in my life. Eventually check out around the time the store announces it’s time for us to all go away and find our houses. At home, I add my book purchase to my constant stack of 4 or 5 books “in the process of being read” rearranging the batting order based on mood. Anchoring the stack is my copy of Atlas Shrugged which I really will read someday. I have to. I then find your mother and say, “Looky what I brought you!”

  37. Fun question!

    No kids…trying to picture it, really. It’s hard.

    1) the latest nutrition books, sneaking into the food books
    2) the latest sociology books, especially on American culture
    3) the latest parenting books

    Settle down in a comfy chair. Read and read.

    Laura at Wild Parenting’s last blog post…My Name is Not "Rachel’s Mother"

  38. Jennifer C. says:

    Well, first off, I am a psychology student (I have 2 more quarters to getting my bachelors degree) so I would grab a cup of coffee, and head for the psychology section. I have recently read a book called “reviving Ophelia” which is about a psychologist that helps girls deal with issues in Jr. high and high school. It is a must read for individuals who have daughters. It really opened my eyes to what these girls go through and gives real examples and tips at how to help them.

  39. I start with the new releases, and more likely than not, I’ll end up in the computer books section, pull out something I haven’t yet learned, get a hot chocolate, and read for a while. 🙂 SOMETIMES the new releases grab me and I grab back.

    Shelley’s last blog post…Last 10 for Tuesday in September!

  40. I usually start at the magazines, then check out the bargain books then over to business and graphic design. Oooh. Nothing better than coffee and a bookstore! Enjoy.

    Tara’s last blog post…“Natural” Baby Product Claims are Misleading Parents

  41. First stop – grab myself a hot chocolate! (it was 47 degrees in Green Bay this morning!) Then off to the bargain tables searching for Christmas gifts! That will take at least an hour 🙂 Then sitting down flipping through the paper crafting magazines. Ohhh lots of ideas. Next – off to the gift area – where all the journals and fancy pens are.

    I’d be too cheap to buy a book for myself – I normally just go to the library for that.

    Dana’s last blog post…Matthew West CD giveaway!

  42. First, history. Then the kids section then magazines. That’s pretty much the routine every time.

  43. I start with the stuff on sale and then move to the children’s section. From there, I usually check out anything homeschooling related, then Christianity/spirituality. After that, I check out whatever looks interesting that day – sometimes cookbooks, sometimes self-help, sometimes fiction, etc.

    I rarely buy books these days, but I love spending an hour or so in a bookstore or library.

    Catherine’s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday – September 29. 2008

  44. Now that’s a fun question! For me, first I would grab a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, and then I’d head on over to the Cookbooks section. From there I’d probably meander over to the Running section (yes, this section does exist in large chain bookstores). If I still had time, I’d hit the newly released paperbacks. Fun!

    Carmen’s last blog post…Ink Paper Create Challenge #7

  45. I love the bookstore! It’s also kind of nice that my Husband likes to go, all the time. We go and get lost for hours. I usually check out the bargain books first. They tend to display a mix of items, most of which I would have never thought to look for. I then usually settle in around the home improvement/house/decorating area. I think my favorite part about the bookstore is that it gets my creative juices flowing. I leave there ready to take on the world and make dreams happen. =)

  46. This summer my husband and I read “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey so I’m pretty geared up about that. Before that I finally read “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen and LOVED it. I’m moving on to Sense and Sensibility next. I pretty much gravitate toward fiction, and even when my daughter isn’t there, I can’t help but check out the children’s section.

  47. I always end up in the magazines… soaking up every cooking/decorating/fashion magazine I can get my hands on. (I might read some gossip-y stuff, too!)

  48. I always visit the health section first, and since it’s near the beauty section I browse that one too. Then I move onto cookbooks, and then fiction – mostly chick flicks and fantasy. I also like to browse the fitness DVDs if they have them.

    Elisa’s last blog post…Here Comes the Sun!

  49. I will browse two widely different sections:

    1.- Young Adult Fiction

    2.- Philosophy.

    Then maybe religion, productivity, scifi

    Miguel de Luis’s last blog post…Starting a new policy, link love.

  50. Oh, this is going on my calendar RIGHT NOW. My kids are all in school for the first time ever. It’s been eleven years since I went to a bookstore alone for more than 5 minutes. Amazon and I go way back.

    Now that I CAN go, I’ve forgotten all about it. When I go, I think I’ll probably wander all over. I tend to look at books about whatever I’m obsessing over at the moment. Before a trip: travel books. When I learned to crochet: crochet books and magazines. Now: probably books on blogging and html and wordpress and whatever else I decide I need to know.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  51. I go straight for the novels. (I keep a notebook in my purse to jot down books that I want to find later at the library.)

  52. I’m a sucker for the journals section. I always see so much potential in them.

    LivSimpl.com’s last blog post…It’s the little things that make you happy

  53. I live in Ontario, Canada (Canada’s capital) and we have a Starbucks/Chapters.Indigo spot. I used to love the family matters section about parenting and organizing families and what to do while pregnant or with a baby. I’d stroll around the magazines with my coffee in hand and then finish it there. Then I’d go to the calendars to see what is good for me to organize the family. Now that I haven’t got any babies (and I miss them so much as babies) I have kids. I am now into spirituality. I am studying Yoga teacher training and now to be centered and a good spiritual role model for them as they are girls. I love books and bookstores and even buying them online give me two gifts, one on the day I do the online browsing and buying and then on delivery day. the coffee is like a warm hug from a friends, and sometimes I go there with a friend too.

  54. First, I’ll start by finding the books I have come into the bookstore searching for. Second, I find the sections of the bookstore that I have visited previously. Third, I collaborate all the books I want (1-8 usually) and go to the checkout area. Fourth, I go home and sit in a comfortable chair and start browsing through all of my purchased books.

    It’s a system that works and this post made me realize how I do it. Thanks!

    Daniel Allen / The Efficiancy Proposal’s last blog post…7 Reasons To Exercise

  55. wow – this one has really given me pause…especially as it’s made me realize I can’t even remember the last time I stepped foot inside a bookstore…hardly even have time to read with a 2 year old running around! makes me realize I need to strive to carve out some time to be nourishing my soul more often with a book!

    jodi’s last blog post…Returning my bedroom to a refuge

  56. At first I would probably wonder aimlessly, in a stupor, because I don’t know what it feels like to make a decision based on what I want. 🙂

    I think I would grab a cup of coffee, find a comfy chair near the natural/organic living books and educate myself on the plethora of information I have not yet read on the topic.

    I might wonder over to the family psych. section to read up on discipline methods, too, considering I have a 3-year old who is starting to need some guidance. 🙂

  57. Hmmm… I head for the magazines and see if there are any new scrapbook magazines for me to flip through. Then off to the bargin bin. Cookbooks, hobbies and photography books all draw me… it would just depend on my mood. Top two: scrapbook & photography.

    And a caramel apple cider or peppermint mocha or java chip frappacino, depending on the time of year! 🙂

    Lauren’s last blog post…looking for my life

  58. Historical fiction, biographies, Tom Friedman, The World Is Flat


  59. Oh, the magazine section first the home & garden. Without children? Yeah right, in what universe?? Hee, hee!

  60. I’d head right to the cafe. Then I’d look through the periodicals to see what’s in the specialty magazines and journals (travel, literature and analysis are favorites). If I still had time, I’d grab some books from the travel section to plan a future trip, I might flip through some parenting books to get some new ideas and I’d definitely gaze longingly at the literary fiction, wishing I had time to read more.

  61. I hit the new fiction first, then the bargain book section and then it’s either off to sci-fi and romance or writing and self help. It depends on my mood. I usually finish up with the children’s secion and bargain books.

    Holly’s last blog post…Tackle It Tuesday – Email

  62. I generally head to the philosophy section to find little bits on Spinoza & after that the children’s section & the arts section — I get all worked up and inspired about all the things I want to be doing & making. (Also, even though our baby isn’t born yet — January! — her library is already rather extensive thanks to my (and my friend’s) love of literature & children. Muah!

    Desiree Fawn’s last blog post…inspiration love.

  63. I love the “How To…” books. Idiot’s Guides, K.I.S.S., stuff like that. It’s amazing to teach yourself new things in a few hours. My favorite!

    April’s last blog post…To Momma on her 50th Birthday

  64. absolutely the crafting, quilting and sewing books….

    Leslie’s last blog post…Bread in a Bag

  65. I just did this today! Okay, I had the baby with me, but since I usually have 3 it felt like a vacation. New Releases, then Staff Favorites, then I continued to weave through all of the temporary book display tables until I reached Children’s Books.

    I came home with Three Cups of Tea (Mortenson/Relin) and The Abstinence Teacher (Tom Perrotta). I can’t wait for bedtime!

    Nikki’s last blog post…I’m Daddy

  66. I start with the magazines … I tend to find my books on Amazon.

  67. Ohh, good question. I live where there aren`t many English books, too, but back when I lived in Canada, I loved to hit Chapters or Barnes and Noble.

    At the time, I spent most of my time browsing the writing section (which I still would) and the travel section (not so much now) and then head to the kids area to scope out the cool novels for little kids. Back then I looked at them for my baby sister, now it would be for my own sons. Sigh. I really, really miss bookstores . . .

    Expat Mom’s last blog post…Snake Update

  68. There is something reassuring in the similarity of your fans bookstore rituals. Funny enough, this morning I found myself with an hour to “kill”. I popped into B&N.

    After watching “The Story of Stuff” with Annie Leonard a few months ago, I am acutely aware that it is no “accident” that the magazines are “on the way” to the coffee counter. And once seated, the self-help section is a glance away.

    Like others, I typically grab my grande cafe mocha & a decorating or organizing themed magazine. Every now and then something with beauty or fashion. I’m a sucker for New York Times Bestseller Fiction or memoirs!!

    Today it was The Harvard Business Review that caught my eye. Current US economic affairs have consumed evening discussions in our household. The cover contained articles on all of our favorite topics…economy, job security, investing, etc. What stuck with me the most, after flipping through it, was an article by Don Moyer. He quoted Paco Underhill’s book “Why We Buy”. Saying it’s “a method of becoming newer, perhaps even slightly improved person.” OH SO TRUE…I thought, at least for me.

    I wish I could say I walked out empty handed and resisted the temptation to become a “slighty improved person” but a digital photography book and gift card made their way to my home.

    Thank you for todays question I have loved reading all of the responses. I am sorry if I got a little lost in my reflection but I learned a little about myself in the process. You can bet, next time I’m at the bookstore I’m going to pick up Underhill’s “Why We Buy” to find out more about the science of shopping.

    Have a great day!!!

  69. Oh, I forgot to mention a very funny site written by a B&N employee.
    Some of his rantings are LOL.

  70. I love hanging out in architecture and graphic design, but I get inspire by patterns in textiles too, so I could go there too. Mostly it depends on whether there’s a comfy chair nearby.

    Natalie Jost’s last blog post…Argh

  71. I love sitting in a book store with Real Simple magazine, household organizing books, crafting books (crochet, beading) and my caramel Latté!

    The Chatty Housewife’s last blog post…Splish Splash

  72. only 2 hours… that isn’t enough time 🙂

    I usually start at the new releases and new author’s section then wander around to whatever seems the most interesting to me that day – I like all kinds of books & magazines so I’m easy to please 🙂

    Blessed’s last blog post…If Only I Could Write In My Sleep…

  73. It depends on my mood but lately it’s been a cross between cooking/crafting/foreign language (I’m trying to learn Japanese) and finance.

    If that doesn’t give you some insight into my life, I don’t know what does!

    Robin’s last blog post…Salem Waterfront Carousel

  74. This is one of my most favorite things to do as well! My little bookstore routine is: walk through the craft/home decor + organizing section first, grabbing newer books that look interesting. Then I hit up the magazines- mostly scrapbooking + home decor. Finally I get a chai and sit down to relax. I never make it through my whole stack, but that’s okay…

    andi’s last blog post…the official autumn to-do list

  75. I usually head to the magazines and newspapers first. Then to the new release section. After that it’s fiction and then free for all. Absolutely one of my favorite things to do for myself!

    Jamie W.’s last blog post…

  76. Well, I don’t drink coffee (but I LOVE the smell!), so after I’ve made my selections, I go to the cafe for an IBC root beer–the chilled glass, the cold steam that comes out, the bubbles…yum!

    Anyway, like just about everybody else, I load up on magazines. Then I wander between all of the displays before ogling Christian living, decorating, historical fiction, current events, travel, and new nonfiction. By this time, my arms are laden and I really need that root beer!

    Marian’s last blog post…Out to the Movies and Philippians 4:8

  77. I get some coffee and head straight for the travel section. I can sit for hour reading and dreaming of places in the world I would like to visit.

    Sporty Mama’s last blog post…Isn’t She Just The Cutest Thing

  78. The sections with books that are fully-illustrated in color: how-to guides, DK books, kids’ atlases and other educational books, that kind of thing.

    I’m with you though: we don’t have any English books (except textbooks!) where I live, and, well, people don’t actually drink coffee here at all. Much less in a bookstore.

    Lori Ann’s last blog post…Weekend Snapshot #1

  79. I don’t spend nearly as much time in bookstores as I used to since discovering the joy of Paperbackswap or rediscovering the joy of the library, but if I were to soon I would…

    First hit the bargain section — looking for novels for myself, books for either my nieces or now my baby, etc. Then I would browse the recommended book tables and new fiction tables to see if anything grabs me. A run over to magazines to browse Utne Reader, which often read only at bookstores. I’d take that to the coffee shop area and settle down for a read. Definitely would have some dessert with my coffee, too.

    Lauri @ A Day Spent’s last blog post…Giveaway #2 — Pampering Package O’ Goodies — WINNER

  80. The craft section first then the eco section then the magazines.

  81. I start out first at the super cheap books they have by the doors, then in the magazines section looking at photography and the scrapbooking area. Then on to the crafts and the home management area. If I have more time, I’ll check out the kids books too!

  82. first i would check out the cookbook section and then the craft section, i’m crazy for everything about sewing, craftig, scrapbooking,…

    Sanja’s last blog post…letzter tag

  83. modern parenting, boys (as in children, i have 3), crafts/sewing/making, children’s, cooking. i never have time for anythign more, but oh how i LOVE it.

  84. This is definitely a favorite escape for my friends and I, too. We always start with the magazines. Mostly because lately they seem so much more expensive and I never just pick them up and go right to the counter and buy them anymore. In fact, I rarely buy them anymore unless they are truly spectacular. After the magazines, it’s definitely the sewing/craft section, and then the gardening section. Lately, I’ve also been looking at the remodeling/green building section. I usually also bring my amazon cart list and check out the books on it “in person”. I do have to say that I think there is something to be said about just sitting and drinking your coffee especially if you’re with a friend.

    melody’s last blog post…the countdown begins…

  85. The travel section, hands down. I loooove browsing all the different country guides and trying to decide where our next fabulous trip will be (although they rarely happen, it’s fun to daydream and plan!)

  86. I’m all the DIY stuff. All of it! I love the pictures, the illustrations and the potential to make something cool. I have so many of these that I have a loan out system, so friends can use from our library instead of getting their own.

  87. What a great question. I just love being in the environment of the bookstore. There’s something about it that gets my creative side moving. I like to wander around and look at anything that’s on my mind at the time. Kind of like doing research. Believe it or not, one of my favorite finds recently is called, The Testosterone Syndrome, at Barnes and Noble. When I asked the clerk to help me find it she laughed. It is kind of funny but it’s so great to see topics addressing men’s health and mental health addressed from previously untapped angles. What I also love about bookstores and libraries is that they are organized in a linear fashion, but the experience is so abstract for me. Best of both worlds. Need to give some more thought to this one. Thanks for the challenge.

  88. I love to start in the home improvement section, make my way to the children’s section, then I hit the bargainn section where I usually make the most purchases. I love the huge coffee table books I can pick up for near nothing and use in our homeschooling,learning home.

  89. Oh, I could LIVE in the art section. So much inspiration…

    Victory’s last blog post…Photographing Children

  90. Christian nonfiction. Definitely. Then possibly organizing or self help , possibly small business stuff.

    Alyssa’s last blog post…Contest Winners

  91. Haven’t gotten to do this in a long time by the way, you make me want to, but there isn’t a nice big bookstore within 100 miles of my house darn it.

    Alyssa’s last blog post…Contest Winners

  92. I totally go for the self-help section. What does that say about me? I didn’t see that as a popular answer. What is it about the bookstore that is so inviting? Its a different world. And maybe for me its that there is that one book that I’m going to find that will solve all my latest problems and make me the best me. I’m also just now, that I’m not working, getting into fiction. I look for a good picture on the cover. Again, what does that say about me??

  93. Frankly, I just wish I could get to a bookstore ALONE to browse! I’m afraid I’m carrying on a rather torrid affair with Amazon.com at the moment. You know, sneaking around, ordering books, getting all excited when I hear the doorbell ring and know there’s a new “surprise” waiting for me. 🙂

    A very good book I read recently was Jeannette Wells’ book “The Glass Castle.” It was one of those books that sticks with you… and to think it’s true.

  94. Just put me in a bookstore that has a basement full of older books. They smell musty and the floors are hardwood but I can spend hours looking for books with great illustrations. I love illustrations and have collected books for years for this very reason.

  95. If I had 2 hours alone in a bookstore I would scout out all of the books I’d like to have and add them to my gift list. My family is forever asking me what I’d like for my birthday, Christmas, etc… Then I would head over to the magazine area and pick out several that I don’t subscribe to ( Hello, my name is Deb and I’m a magazing junkie!!). I would grab an ice coffee, settle into a chair and just look through those magazines uninterrupted.

    Deb’s last blog post…Good Chaos

  96. Yikes. I hope it’s a small bookstore so I can really maximize my two hours. Two hours in a Barnes & Noble would be an exercise in frustration; history, art, fiction, magazines, beauty, sewing, children’s section, travel, religion, greeting cards, languages, music, clearance, calendars, New Yorker Cartoons, decorating – how to choose?!? I’ll always be missing something I love.

    My husband and I are heading to Bar Harbor tomorrow for the first “more than 24 hours” I’ve had with absolutely zero children in 10 years. I’m know exactly which small bookstore I’m heading to, with plans to read the title of every book they’ve got and then make my choice. It’s just as well that they don’t have a coffee shop: no added stress of spilling!

    Jennifer Phillips’s last blog post…Here we are again.

  97. Very fun question – I gravitate toward the ‘homefront’ section – gardening and decorating are those aisle where i could linger for hours – days.

    i’m so about the home!

    love what you do and the flavor of your sweet presentation and truth to women of all ages. keep up the good work! blessings – lylah

    lylah ledner’s last blog post…MOMS Help 911 – sweet or stinky fruit?

  98. I would go right to the magazines, get a few, then go to the bead making magazines, as I make glass beads by hand. Then I would grab a few cookbooks. I’d find a big fat chair and settle in. Our Barnes and Noble store has 2 huge over stuffed chairs in their cookbook section. My biggest indulgence is to sit there and browse the above books. I love the holiday cookig magazines. I always peruse them prior to purchasing. Magazines are so expensive, I hate to buy ‘duds’.

    Cindy Carnes’s last blog post…Recipe Friday Oct. 3rd 2008

  99. When I want a mini-vacation without leaving town, heading to the bookstore, grabbing a cup of coffee, and then buying a book to take with me to breakfast is how I do it! I like to check out the “Staff Picks” section. I get introduced to new authors this way. My “addiction” is historical fiction, like Philippa Gregory. I also love essays and visit the writers section, too, because I aspire to write my own book someday.

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