It took a morning for me to spend my book vouchers. Over three hours. I didn't think it would take that long (and it certainly didn't feel as though that much time had passed), and although I was armed with a list of a few titles I definitely wanted, once there, in the shop itself, I was far too excited to stick to the plan!
I did buy blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris, and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, but my list was soon abandoned when I began to really browse the shelves - something I haven't had the chance (and pleasure) of doing in quite some time.
So much choice, so many colourful covers and brilliant blurbs. I bought 10 books in the end, although four of them were for Alice - even at two years old she loves to lie in bed in the mornings leafing through her picture books (which affords me an extra few moments of writing time first thing!).
The experience reminded me just how wonderful brick and mortar bookshops really are - online shopping is great, convenient, it brings instant gratification, and all of that is marvellous, but nothing beats being able to pick a book from a shelf, feel the pages, read the covers, smell that smell...
Bookshops also give you the opportunity to speak with knowledgeable, interesting people who can guide you when you are a little bit lost amongst the rows and rows of delicious pages...
Online you're on your own, despite the websites of reviews. They may point you in the right direction, but they'll never match having a proper conversation. Not for me, anyway.
In the end I bought:
Red Dragon - Thomas Harris
blueeyedboy - Joanne Harris
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Ash - James Herbert
Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn
Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman
The Singing Mermaid - Julia Donaldson
The Princess and the Wizard - Julia Donaldson
The Highway Rat - Julia Donaldson
Shhh... Don't Wake The Royal Baby - Martha Mumford
Many happy hours of reading ahead do Alice and me!