For whatever reason (probably has something to do with our insatiable bibliomania), Chris and I always end up going to Barnes and Noble whenever we have some sort of special occasion. As tonight was his birthday, we headed off in search of books after dinner. Upon arriving there, we found the parking lot packed. At first we attributed this to it being 7:30pm on a Friday, and there being two popular restaurants who share their parking lots with B&N. That was before we noticed the gigantic Laura Ingraham bus and the van and canopy and such from a local political news radio station.
I'm not a fan of crowds, and I am a fan of being able to actually browse the shelves in the bookstore, so I said "Hey, let's just drive across town to the other B&N." But no, Chris was not having any of that. He boldly declared "Laura Ingraham is not going to prevent me from buying a nerd book on my birthday!" Please note two things: Neither of us have any idea who Laura Ingraham is, nor did we have any opinion of her prior to this night. Also, Chris likes to buy and read non-fiction science books, which I affectionately call "nerd books" or "geek books."
When we got inside, we found that the store was packed with Laura Ingraham fans, and the store had some sort of thing going where you had different colored tickets, and you couldn't get in line to get your book signed until your color was up, and oh hey, hope you weren't looking for video game magazines, because we put a big radio station banner over them and have the author standing in the magazine section. PHEH! Oh, and of course, if you're not in line, feel free to stand in the "New Releases" section of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, because it's not like any fan girls might be looking to see if Gaiman's "Fragile Things" is out in paperback yet.
I quickly got frustrated at my inability to look at things that I might want to buy, so I wandered over to join Chris in nerd land (I did find that "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" by Susanna Clarke was in paperback, and I decided maybe I would buy it if Chris bought anything). The only people in his aisle were actually looking at books, but the end of the aisle was blocked by the signing line. He found a book on the brain's ability to read (see, nerdy) and decided that's what he wanted, but he also wanted to look at religious books for some reason. Hey, guess where the line was? That's right! Right through the Religion section!
And that was when we decided that enough was enough. Chris put his nerd book back, and we left without even looking at the bargain books. The place was just too much of a zoo. Honestly, I do not think our B&N is big enough to handle such a large book signing... When you have to place the author in the middle of the magazine section and wend the line through the aisles, something's wrong. And when your customers can't get in to look at the books that they would very much like to buy, something's wrong. The whole situation left me feeling very disappointed, as we hadn't been on a book shopping trip in forever, and I really wanted some new reading material. I guess we'll just hit the store again sometime later this weekend.
Otherwise, everything is peachy-keen and I'm looking forward to spending my Saturday gaming and beading!