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Top Ten Tuesday: (Five) Favourite Bookstore Experiences

Created by and with thanks to That Artsy Reader! This week’s theme was all about bookstores you’d love to visit; but as I don’t have a list of those, I thought I’d change it up a bit. Here are five memories I have of walking out of a bookstore with a book so ultimately meaningful to me, the buying experience is etched onto my brain!

(Also: as this goes live, I’m on holiday [yay!], but I promise to catch up with any comments and everyone’s TTTs when I get back!)

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1. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
In what used to be my favourite bookshop (and is now, regrettably, an Apple store), the YA section was down a dramatic staircase, in a little alcove with lighting so dim it was basically mood lighting. That, friends, is where I first saw Jace Herondale staring up at me from a glowing NYC backdrop. At my bored mom’s insistence, to hurry me out, I bought the first (and at the time, only!) three books on a 3-for-2 offer, and the rest is history!

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Here’s a story on the power of a cover. I remember seeing THG for the first time, face-out on a shelf in another now-closed bookstore near me. It promised I could choose my own cover, folding out to let you have either Katniss or Peeta in a little peephole. I had to play with it, to see what it was all about; then I had to read some of it; then, before I knew it, I was twelve chapters in, on my way to the till. Don’t judge a book by its cover, indeed.

3. The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Honestly, what did we even do before Bookstagram and the blogosphere could introduce us so easily to what’s popular? I had no idea Twilight was a thing when I first saw the cover. We were months out from Breaking Dawn being released; but by the time it was, I was beyond obsessed. I took a special trip to town just to buy it, and hugged it the entire walk to the till.

4. The True Blood series by Charlaine Harris
This is another one I bought largely on those 3-for-2 deals that were huge in the early 00s. When I turned 18, I spent a lot of weekends in London, exploring–and every trip, on the day I was set to go home, I’d raid a bookshop, apparently for the thrill of breaking my back carrying (mostly True Blood) books on my way to the train station. Oh 3-for-2, you did do my bank balance and back some damage, but you gave me the True Blood series, so I forgive you!

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Who doesn’t remember buying this one? I was on the way back from the worst camping trip in the world, ill and grouchy and feeling generally awful. We stopped off at a Woolworths (remember those, fellow Brits?!), and by some miracle, they hadn’t sold out in the eighteen hours of it being on sale. I snatched a copy up, finished it before midnight, and I genuinely think it cured my illness. The magic of reading.

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Do you have any memorable book buying experiences?

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27 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: (Five) Favourite Bookstore Experiences

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  1. Buying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was probably my most memorable bookstore experience ever! 🤩 I slept over at my best friend’s house that night so that she, her twin brother, and I could all go to the midnight release together, dressed up in Hogwarts costumes 🥰 And then we just spent all night reading! And, best of all, my dad was working the next day so I didn’t even have to trade off our copy with him before I finished 😇 (As the fastest readers in the family, the Harry Potter release rule was that my dad and I always got to read our copy first 😁)

    I’ve never seen the changable Hunger Games cover before, though! I thought it just existed in two separate editions… But I’m glad it got you hooked on the series! I actually didn’t think the UK covers looked too enticing, but preordered The Hunger Games anyway because Suzanne Collins had written them and I was beyond obsessed with her Underland Chronicles…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that memory, thank you for sharing it! What an amazing experience–I’ve only ever buddy read a book the same day it came out once, so I can just imagine how precious that experience with that book must’ve been for you 🥰

      I think The Hunger Games cover I have must’ve been part of an early print release or something, because I’ve never seen it anywhere else, either! The covers have definitely improved over time, but I’m quite attached to my original. 🥰

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  2. Fun memories! I would have been intrigued by the “choose your own cover” thing, too. I remember books that I’ve preordered in many cases but I rarely have vivid memories of books that I find on the shelves. And honestly, I don’t remember where I got my final Harry Potter book. I know some friends and I went to the book release in costume, but I also know that I had ordered my copy from some other store (though I forget which one) and so I didn’t get my book that night. Oh well. At least I have good memories of the party!

    I went a different direction this week, and posted some more quotes about books: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2022/10/04/top-ten-tuesday-more-quotes-about-books/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you have so many positive memories attached to Deathly Hallows, even if they’re not carefully dated! What costume did you go in? I wish I’d gone to one of those events, now–they seem completely magical!

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  3. I love your take on this week’s topic! I have so many good memories of buying books, usually at a Barnes & Noble, Borders (now closed, sadly), or our local independent bookstore The King’s English. I loved attending the midnight releases for Harry Potter and Twilight Saga. Best bookish memories ever.

    My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! We don’t have many local bookstores where I am, but I used to love the Borders, too (in fact, two of the books on this list were purchased at my Borders, before it shut!). I wish I’d gone to the midnight releases for those–I did see some of the films at midnight, and the experiences were amazing!

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  4. Oh, I love this twist on the topic! You have a great memory. We came to the Harry Potter series late, so we didn’t get to enjoy all those midnight releases. I got my first Twilight used just to see what all the fuss was about, so I was late to that one, as well. But I did get to enjoy most of the film releases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I do have a steel trap of a memory, haha. Honestly, I wish I’d made more out of the midnight releases–I was hugely into them but somehow just unaware of the releases?! I didn’t get to any Twilight midnights either, except for the final film, but that was an amazing experience 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I attended the marathon showing of all the Twilight films which led up to the final film’s release. It was so fun. But a long day. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a cinema moment I’ll never forget. One girl actually jumped out of her seat and screamed, ‘CARLISLE! NO!’ Where else could you ever have that reaction?!

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