Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wild Goose Chase

Today I went on a bit of a wild goose chase on the search for the book, Little Bee. It really should not have been that big of a deal, but being new to Chattanooga, I am bound to experience some moments of wandering.

To start with, I checked the local library {online} to see if they had the book I was searching for. They did, but all copies were checked out AND since it is a current best seller, there is a long wait for the book. In addition, I do not have my Tennessee driver's license yet, so I cannot yet procure a library card. This is a sad situation for me {especially since I am behind on reading my 52 books in 52 weeks}.

Next I opted to search for local bookstores in the Chattanooga area. Among the bookstores that came up were Rock Point Books and All Books. Both were located downtown. I checked the Rock Point Books web site and it had Little Bee listed online. I tried to call to verify that the book was in stock, but could not get through. 

With further research, I found that All Books specialized in used and rare books, so I decided to start with Rock Point {I figured if they didn't have my book, it wouldn't cost me a lot of extra time and my back up plan would be to find Hamilton Place Mall, where I assumed there would be a Barnes & Noble or some other big bookstore}.

So I wrote down directions to Rock Point Books and made my way downtown. I didn't have the GPS on hand, so I was relying on my general knowledge of the area, in addition to the directions. I had no problem finding the bookstore. But it turned out to be fairly disappointing. There were shelves that were empty and very few current books on hand. Though there were quite a few books by local writers, there almost none of the "Indie" books that their web site seemed to infer that they had in stock.

Disappointed, I decided to walk around to see what else was in the area. This led me to All Books. I had not intended to go here, but since I had read about it online, my curiosity won me over and I walked in. It was like walking into another world. The musty smell of old books assaulted me as I entered the haphazardly laid out shop. A little old woman greeted me rather roughly. I asked her if there was method to the madness. She pointed me to two signs. It was such a mess that I almost turned back. But then I asked her more directly if she had CS Lewis on hand. She did and pointed me to the correct shelf. Had I not had an author in mind, there is NO WAY I would have found anything in this crazy shop. I know that my dad would love perusing this shop and I have no doubt he would find some amazing old books. As for me, it was a little much and I left without spending too much time.

Not having had any luck, I decided to see if I could find my way to Hamilton Place Mall. I was pretty sure it was off of I-75 North and I thought that I could get close enough to find it {especially since most malls are sit in close proximity to interstates}. Sure enough, I-75 led me to an exit for Hamilton Place Blvd. I figured this would lead me to the mall, and it did. I drove around the outside of the mall until I found the Barnes & Noble {it is nice that mall layouts are predictable}. I perused the store, found more books to add to my "to read" list and then purchased my book. While at the register, I asked where Target was. Who needs GPS when you can ask people where stores are located?

I made it home in one piece. It is about 15 minutes from my exit to the mall exit. Not too terrible of a drive. And now I have my book in hand. So I would count this day a success.

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