Last night, I got a message from my girlfriend asking me if I would mind going to Barnes & Noble on my way home from work, to pick up a book she had ordered. That’s like asking a chocolate-a-holic if they’d mind watching the chocolate fountain at Golden Corral!!! As I left work and was on my way to “Barnes” as I call it, I had a little twinkle in my eye, and I was already thinking about what section would I browse in first. You see it was Tuesday, and Tuesday is when the bookstore gets their new selections for the week. I guess that makes me a nerd for knowing that!
Anyway as I pulled into Barnes & Noble, I entered the store and broke right. I checked out the 50% off tables first to see if there was anything good. I found a couple of titles that looked interesting, but I told myself “Patience grasshopper!” I then strolled down to a section on healthcare, because I have an interest in books about medicine and the healthcare industry. Finding nothing new there, I perused the “New Releases” section, and one I was expecting to see, wasn’t there. DAMN!!!
Recently, my store completely moved all the shelves around, and I still haven’t quite broken the habit yet of my methodical pattern sweep approach to browsing. So even though I walked to where I would usually go to search “Current Affairs“, “History“, “Business” and “Biographies“, there was nothing there except a new “Teen Romance” section and kids toys. AGGHHHH!!!
Continuing my counter-clockwise migration, I came to “Christian Inspiration“, “Current Affairs” and “History“. Every once in awhile now, I’ll browse the Christian Inspiration section, because there’s some good books I’ve found there. But not today. I looked in “Current Affairs” and found a couple that looked interesting, but lately my interests just aren’t there. You see, my reading appetite changes quite often, and right now I just don’t feel like reading about politicians lying about themselves, Republican vs. Democrat nonsense, or how miserable the economy is. DUH… I know!!!
Next is “History” and a few more interesting ones there. I tend to prefer more modern history and a few catch my eye, and I check out the inside jackets or back covers, but tell myself, not today! I have a whole shelf of books at home… I have a whole shelf of books at home… repeating it to myself over and over like some recovering addict!
I ALWAYS skip over these sections unless something miraculously catches my eye:
- “New Age“
- “Movies / TV“
I just don’t care about them! I see all the programming and technical books next, but being an engineer already, I just don’t focus on them. I get enough of that crap at work! Doing my counter-clockwise march of the store, I’m now at about 9:00 in terms of location, having circled 3/4 of the Starbucks cafe in the middle. I’ve had brief thoughts of a Chai Tea tonight since its cold outside, but it quickly passes.
Next up on deck are the business & management books. I like this section because I like to read about personal investing, unorthodox management styles, the changing market forces and leadership in general. I’ve found many excellent books in this section over the years including:
- “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferris
- “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution” by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson
- “Drive” by Dan Pink
- “Screw Business as Usual” by Sir Richard Branson [currently reading]
I find a few books that look interesting, several on my Amazon.com Wishlist, and look at their jackets. Which reminds me of my other addiction. If you can’t already tell, I’m a voracious reader! Several years ago when I discovered Amazon.com, I found the “Wishlist” feature and set one up. I don’t share my Wishlist with anyone, it’s just a personal memory storage area for me. When I find things that look interesting while browsing through Amazon, I add them to my Wishlist for safe keeping. My earliest Wishlist book was added by me November 16, 2005! As of this writing, I have 648 items on my Wishlist!!! I have books about airplanes; books about the military; fiction and non-fiction books; books on politics, science, medicine, computers, business and everything in between. I have best sellers and ones nobody’s heard of. Now with my iPhone I can take my Wishlist with me, and scan bar codes to add things to it on the go. I’ve gone hard-core mobile nerd now!
I maneuver through the management books taking mental note of titles that peak my interest, and scan one or two into my Wishlist. On the back side of these racks are the “Science / Technology” books. I look these over quickly and then begin hitting the bargain racks. These are near the front of the store and I check to see if anything is new here, or anything looks like a good deal. Nothing today. So now that I’ve made my round of B&N, I bounce back and forth a few times between “History“, “Current Affairs” and “Management“. These are my favorite sections of the store, and are usually the ones I buy from most!
After about 1/2 hour, I settle on a title that peaked my interest on Amazon.com the day before. The book is titled “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie. The book is in the area of business and social entrepreneurship, which I’ve been feeling inspired by and more and more interested in lately. The description on Amazon.com describes it as:
What matters most to you? Should you focus on earning a living, pursuing your passions, or devoting yourself to the causes that inspire you? The surprising truth is that you don’t have to choose—and that you’ll find more success if you don’t. That’s the breakthrough message of TOMS’ One for One movement. You don’t have to be rich to give back and you don’t have to retire to spend every day doing what you love. You can find profit, passion, and meaning all at once—right now.
“In Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS, one of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world, and combines it with lessons learned from such other innovative organizations as method, charity: water, FEED Projects, and TerraCycle. Blake presents the six simple keys for creating or transforming your own life and business, from discovering your core story to being resourceful without resources; from overcoming fear and doubt to incorporating giving into every aspect of your life. No matter what kind of change you’re considering, Start Something That Matters gives you the stories, ideas, and practical tips that can help you get started.”
The only problem is I feel like Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode called “Time Enough at Last.” I have all the books I could want to read, but not enough time!
Needless to say, with my one choice in hand I head to the front of the store to ring up my order and to pick up my girlfriend’s selection. I pick up her book, proceed to hand the cashier my Barnes & Noble Member Card, a $25 gift card with a $2.17 balance on it, and a credit card. Gotta get my 10% discount, and save a few extra bucks if I can. With books in hand, I head out the door and on my way home. The funny thing is afterward I tell my girlfriend that for me to leave after just an hour is good for me! She agrees and tells me she had planned dinner to be an hour later or so, to account for me doing the “Round the B&N Store” tour!!! Guess she knows me too well!