Friday, September 21, 2007


More on the Used Bookstore Crawl that James had already talked about; with my perspective.

One of the things that I looked forward to in retirement was having the time to catch up on my reading. As a child I loved to read. I can remember during the summers during the time I was in elementary school, especially in the 7th and 8th grade, the local libraries would always sponsor a Summer Reading Program. You were allowed to check out 10 books each time. I can remember riding my bike to the library and coming home with my allotment of 10 books in the bike basket.

Once home, I stacked my books on a TV tray next to my Father's easy chair and plunked myself down. It was there that I stayed until my Mother couldn't stand it any longer and have some "job" I was supposed to do. My Mother was someone who magazines such as Women's World and First were made. She couldn't stay focused long enough to read a lengthy book but loved reading article snippets and recipes.

But I on the other hand couldn't wait to start a book and reach that stage where the writing, the characters and the plot had kidnapped me away from my world to theirs. If I had not been kidnapped by the end of the first chapter; that book went on the pile to be returned to the library. Because I knew that there were far more books in that library than I could possibly read in a summer; so I had set my kidnapping standard for which ones I would read.

Unfortunately, one grows out of that "summer off" phase of childhood and grows into the phase of responsibility to college, marriage, family, jobs and just life itself. So you can see that I had this image in my mind of retirement being a time when I could go back to that world of being kidnapped by a book as often as I chose.

But retirement is not always as free of responsibilities as one imagines. I swear sometimes I feel like I have more things to do in retirement than before. Perhaps it is because in your life before retirement all of your responsibilities are confined in given areas. They dictate what you will do--your family, your job, your community; they all set the perimeters. BUT: when you retire; you have more say in what those perimeters are. And, if you are like me; we tend to stretch them far and wide. (My mind wandered....and never came back.)

I may not have all the time I would like to curl up in that old familiar position in a comfy chair and read whenever I want to; but I still find the time to go to bookstores and see it as an expanded version of the library from my childhood. One big difference being that instead of being able to walk out of there with 10 books to bring back when read; I have to pay for these.
Now I know that I can still go to the library and I still do; but there is something about a book store that sucks me in. Perhaps it is the comfy chairs in which to sit and read or it might be the Starbucks

My husband and I have found that the new joy comes in the shape of a Used Book Store. And so many of them allow you to bring your read books back in for credit for ones you have not read.

Therefore, you can imagine our delight when we read in the paper that one of our favorite used book stores, Book Tales in Encinitas, CA was organizing a used book store "crawl" visiting different stores from Carlsbad to downtown San Diego and back. Fourteen of us signed up and boarded a bus in Carlsbad and took our book bags into each store and found treasures in every store.

You can see a review and PICTURES from our tour/crawl on my Squidoo lens:

For anyone who lives in San Diego County, there will be a second one coming up on November 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. If you would be interested in joining us, you can contact Patricia McFarland at

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