Tag Archives: Shopping

For the Love of Old Books


Books (Photo credit: henry…)

I love books, and I love bookstores. But most of all, I love secondhand bookstores*. No, it’s not because of the smell of old books, like people keep saying. Neither is it their easy-on-your-pockets nature, although it is one of the major attractions. Mostly, I love shops that sell secondhand books because browsing through them feels like treasure-hunting!

Actual bookstores organize books by category and alphabetical order and popularity and age group. Of course, that is to be appreciated in general, and be thankful for when you’re looking for that one A.R.R.R. Roberts spoof you’ve wanted to read for ages specifically. But plowing through the haphazard piles and rows and stacks of used books, arranged in no particular order of genre or author or price, is entirely another adventure. For some reason, it reminds me of the few  treasure hunts my brother and I had for our birthdays. You dive in, first get a bird’s eye-view of everything, and then search all the corners and hidey-holes for the treasure. And then the next one, and the next. The search itself is more fun, is much more exciting than the treasure itself, or even the satisfaction of having found it. 

And you never know what you’re going to find. You might go in with a clear mind and a list of the books you are looking for; and you might find one, or all, or a few, or even none of them; but you never leave the second-hand store empty-handed. At least I never do. There are always five other books that hold my interest, and always one that I just have to buy. It doesn’t matter that I have to study for the course I’m doing, or that I already have those three books I’ve yet to start, or that I really won’t have all that time to read so many books, or that I’m already in the middle of–simultaneously, you could say–two library books, three ebooks and one of my own paperbacks; I always end up buying a couple of books more from such places.

Visiting a regular bookstore is an adventure for sure, but browsing a used-books store is like an extreme action adventure extraordinaire!

*By ‘secondhand bookstores’ I mean stores that sell second-hand books, and not bookstores that are second-hand. Just so we’re clear.



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It’s Amazin’ Dot Com

Okay. I’ve made up my mind. Online window shopping is much more exciting than actually window shopping. And it has all the characteristics of a dependency-causing substance; one that is ripe for being abused given the slightest encouragement. It’s fun, thrilling, addictive, and gives a high like nothing else!

As a rule, and because I’m a traditionalist, and technologically handicapped, I don’t shop online. And so the wonders of online stores were as yet unknown to me. But yesterday I was looking for a retractable lip brush online for fun, and unwittingly stepped into the quagmire of e-stores. And I knew what it was to be in Charlie’s shoes, in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory! Everything was colourful and wonderful and shiny and tempting. There was so much to see and I wanted all of it! The lip brush was forgotten in the lure of eyeshadow and shoes and audiobooks and pet toys and craft supplies and gift baskets and android phones. I even checked out the gardening section, although I couldn’t tell you the difference between a weed and a herb.

Some might argue that a department store is as tempting and diverse as an e-store. I suppose it was, the first few times I shopped there. Maybe it still is, for little children. But mostly, going to a shopping store is more of a chore than an adventure. Time consuming, backache-inducing. The store inside my laptop, on the other hand, is convenient. And I can shop–or window shop–comfortably, sipping my coffee, and reclining on my couch.

So much enthusiasm–and I was only window shopping! I wonder what happens to people who actually buy stuff online. It must require oodles of self-control to buy only what was on the shopping list, and nothing else. As for me, I found out a lot about things that I don’t need at all, and til yesterday, didn’t know I wanted so desperately!


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The Buying Bug

What is it about getting a new hairstyle or buying a pair of absolutely unnecessary shoes that makes a girl’s day? Whether we are sad or happy, miserable or contented; shopping somehow always turns the world into a better place to live.

Some people would say that the female anatomy comes with a built-in craving for buying things. Others would say that women just like shopping, period. We do, of course. But as for everything else that we do and believe in, we have a deep and meaningful reason for this too.

And the reason is this. Doesn’t matter if we own a hundred things, there’s always scope for more. And needless to say, they are all required desperately!

It’s not only the buying that’s irresistible, ladies love window shopping as much as actual shopping. I’m certain that has something to do with the aesthetic aspect of it. Just looking at beautiful things is a treat; Art for Art’s sake! It’s the same contented, romantic, thrilling, hopeful feeling you get when you witness a magical sunset or a look at vibrant painting by Van Gough or watch Colin Firth being Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

I’m sure that if scientists were to conduct a study (and there’s a great probability it has already been done), they’ll find that going on a shopping spree releases endorphins in the female brain or something very similar.

But at the end of the day, a girl just wants to feel beautiful. And beauty is in the eyes of the beholden rather than the beholder, I say. All we need is to feel like a diva to look like one. That’s the only thing the flattering hairstyle or the new pink shirt or the hot pair of stilettos does–it makes us love ourselves, and that is what gets the world to sit up and notice!

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