Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bookstore Shopping Gone Awry

I recently took my boys to Half-Price Books, thinking that maybe they'd find some dog-eared chapter books to get into, maybe start a collection, and not have to return so quickly to the library. Well, they didn't. My older son was completely worried that if he picked something, he'd have to read it the second he got home, and since he was hoping, really hoping, to play video games instead, he couldn't see past the idea that a book might be barring the way. (Nevermind that I'd already explained that the two events--purchasing a book and playing video games--were mutually exclusive.) The little one found a book quickly and was completely satisfied, so I decided to look around a bit for myself.

Half-Price Books isn't really my thing. I think the concept is great, but I'm the type who when I discover a book I have to read, locate a borrowable version via my array of library cards or buy it myself on Amazon, at Target, or at an actual bookstore. So...by the time it reaches HPB, I've already read it or else I wasn't too enthused to begin with. I did find a copy of Anne of Green Gables, which I still somehow haven't read, and snapped it up, making it available now as a spur-of-the-moment read. Then, being entranced by Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy, I looked for the third book in the series. When I didn't find it in the YA section of the bookstore, I wandered over to adult fiction.

There I stumbled upon a older, bearded individual (a man, in case you're wondering) shelving books. He asked me if I was looking for anything specific, and darn if I shouldn't have listened to that internal voice that says, 'Just keep your head down and find it yourself.' But I didn't. I told him what I was looking for, indicated the book was really a YA but that it was also a cross-over book, meaning maybe its popularity had pushed it into being considered as adult fiction as well.

His response:
'We don't let books cross-over.'

My comeback:
'So if you had it, it would have been in the Young Adult section, huh?'

'Yep. But you know you can read adult books now?'

Huh? I'm not sure whether he was trying to be helpful or trying to not-so-subtly let me know that I'm too old to read YA. Either way, I wasn't pleased.

It'll probably be awhile before we head back to Half-Price Books. Maybe after I've finished with Anne. Maybe she'll inspire me to a more snappy comeback if it should be required.


Liza said...

I was looking for a book not too long ago at Borders that should have been in YA, but couldn't find it anywhere. I finally asked about it and they had it classified as sci-fi...just because it was a vampire book.

Sarakastic said...

If it had been me I would have "crossed over" the shelves for them by switching books up. Anne would've done it.

~Virginia~ said...

it saddens me that my beloved HPB left you in such a funk.

but i have found that the people who work at HPB are not the same sort who work at places like B&N or Borders...if you know what i mean... :)

Stacy said...

We don't let books cross over? That's priceless. That grumpy man would make a good cameo on Gilmore girls.

I sometimes read YA too, so you're not the only grown up in the sandbox. ;)

We don't have HPB here. Borders runs this town, which makes sense given that Borders headquarters are in Ann Arbor.