Last night after work, and after my trip to the gym, I made a trip to Barnes and Noble in Toledo.
I went there to get a copy of the 2005 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market. I said yesterday in my rant about my job that I truly believe there is something better for me out there, and part of that "something better," I think, is writing fiction. As an addendum to my New Year's Resolutions, I plan to dedicate much more time and effort to furthering my writing...well...call it a hobby, or call it a career. Dedicating more time and effort, of course, entails many things, and one of those things is attempting to get some of my work published. The "writer's bible" is a necessary part of that process. I have an older edition, but I knew the newest edition will be the most helpful to me in my quest.
Barnes and Noble, at the moment, is the only mega-bookstore in the area. It's a little further north than anywhere I travel in Toledo on a regular basis, so I don't get to go in there very often. Nonetheless, when I got there last night, I quickly sought out the reference section and found the book I wanted, then made a beeline for the checkout counter. I needed to get out of there as quickly as I could.
See, the fact that it's a little bit out of my way isn't the only reason I don't go to Barnes and Noble very often. It's a dangerous place for someone like me. I'm addicted to books, and I'm also frequently an impulse buyer. That's a bad combination for someone who isn't currently making a whole lot of money.
The first thing that hits you when you walk through the door of Barnes and Noble is the smell of coffee from the little coffee shop they have in the back of the store. I actually hate coffee, but it does smell really good. Then you realize that you're in a fairly enormous store, and that it's filled mostly with books, all of which are on sale. If there's something in particular you're looking for, chances are very, very good that they have it. If you aren't looking for anything in particular, browse for a minute or two. Something will find you. I never have a problem finding a book or two I'd like, at any rate.
Another really inviting thing about the store is that they have plenty of tables and chairs scattered around so you can sit down with a book and peruse it for a bit while you decide if you want to buy it or not. It also seems like quite a few people meet there for study groups and such. I think it's pretty cool.
I'd really like to be able to go spend entire days there, just checking out different books. They have so many, and they also have a pretty fair selection of literary magazines. That will definitely come in handy in the near future, as I prepare to send some of my work out to be published. I'll be able to go there to do my market research.
I was able to get in and out of there pretty quickly last night with my new copy of Writer's Market, and I was extremely glad about that. Had I allowed myself to browse for even a few moments, I'm sure that I would have come out of there with more than just the one book. I have enough stuff already in my on-deck circle, and I don't need to add anything to it just yet.