Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Day at the Bookstore (in Texas)

(Technically, this post is imported from my new start-up blog, Stranger in an Even Stranger Land.  But it's applicable here, too, so I feel it's entirely appropriate to double-post it.)

The other day, I stopped by a Barnes & Noble to pick up a book a friend had recommended to me (my first Janet Evanovich, for those of you who are wondering). While I had assumed that all B&Ns were created equal (as the company is nation-wide), there are significant differences between California- or Colorado-based bookstores and Texas-based bookstores. Namely:
  1. The music. Country music was blaring in this particular book store. I'm used to pleasant, quiet background music while browsing for books, of the jazz or new age variety. But, no--apparently in Humble, Texas, you need to listen to a really loud rendition of "Bless the Broken Road" if you're buying books. It was incredibly distracting.
  2. The selection. In this particular book store, the Christian Living section was far larger than the Fiction section. How is that even possible?
  3. The clientele. There were more people hanging out at the cafe with nary a book a in sight than I'm used to seeing in other B&Ns. I think it's strange when people frequent stores at which they don't actually buy anything.
I don't think I'll be back to that store anytime soon, although one funny thing did happen: a woman, when her son was misbehaving, screeched at him: "Veergil, if eyou don't knock that off raight now, I'm gonna beat eyou with a hawrdback!"*

*This was my attempt to George Bernard Shaw the Texan accent. I'm not entirely sure it was successful.


Jeanne C. said...

So funny... thanks for the laugh!

Enbrethiliel said...


Awwww, you poor culture shocked thing! ;-)

I remember feeling particularly traumatised when I flew to another country, where I had just committed to stay for two years, and thought I'd find some relief from the culture shock in church. Wrong! =P The ideal is for a Catholic Mass to be basically same wherever you happen to be, but thanks to some liturgical directors who are stuck in the 1970s, that doesn't always happen.

Then I visited some bookstores, which were another sad story, and not even as funny as yours . . .

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Jeanne: Aw, thank you!

Enbrethiliel: Culture shock is almost an understatement. In many ways, California is the POLAR OPPOSITE of Texas, if any of you were wondering.

Enbrethiliel said...


The weirdest thing was getting used to the English, a language I had taken for granted I could speak. (I mean, I was going to be an English Lit major, for crying out loud!) Philippine English kind of grew out of American English (and even then, Americans will wonder at some of the constructions we've come up over the last hundred years), and New Zealand English was a sort of British English I had never encountered before in my life.

The worst shock was sitting at the breakfast table with the morning paper, trying to do the crossword puzzle. Despite almost a year of intense practice--crossword puzzles having been a great obsession--I couldn't answer a single thing!!! I don't just mean clues like "Star of So-and-so Local Sitcom" but also the puns and the other word games. It was really awful. =(

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