What-Not: Books-A-Million Excursion. . .

March 21, 2009

As a new freelancer I understand the importance of keeping up with what’s out there to read, so that I can write accordingly–or alternately, if I choose.

So, here’s the deal at Books-A-Million (B.A.M.)  in Lakeland, FL today: I chose to focus first on one section of the magazine “rack.” On my way there I decided to walk the “Teen Fiction” aisle. Something caught my eye. I pulled the book off the shelf and the very bare, very muscular chest of a tanned brunette said, “Hello.” Oh my Lord, were my thoughts. The title? “Sexy Beast.” And with a scan of the back cover I said, “Aw, heck no–this is NOT teen fiction” and put it on some other random shelf. I’ve definitely been leading a sheltered life lately.

Anyway, back to the magazines. Since that rack seemed about 100 yards long I concentrated on the west section of the rack, the “Home” section. 

I’m a still fairly new owner of an 81-year-old Florida bungalow, and I hone in on any reading material featuring home restoration, upkeep, and decorating with character in mind. Mag pick of the day: “Style 1900–Antiques and Interiors.”  Using the Cold Stone Creamery scale, I “Loved It.” There was a fabulous feature on bungalow bathrooms. In the early 1900’s in-house commodes were called “bath-room closets,” and the social taboo was to have a loud one, particularly while entertaining guests. We think quiet vacuums and dishwashers are the thing–back then, a quiet john was the sign of a sophisticate.

Then I did a walk-around until I found the section that I thought would have books for writers. I passed by the bestsellers and discover “The Watchmen” is the big hit. I then passed the Obama section of literature. I’m guessing many of the major bookstores now have such a section.

I finally found “Language Arts,” which is the section with the writing books in this particular store. It was across from “Computers,” which was the messiest section I saw ( I guess it’s a computer geek thing to be smart and messy). And it was next to the atlases, which I think are the most beautiful books. The slightly nerdy side of me loves looking at pictures of land and countries, and the night sky.

Back from that digression to Language Arts. There are two picks of the day: “The Huffington Post Complete Guide  to Blogging;” and “88 Money-Making Writing Jobs.” Since I didn’t have time to read these standing in the store, I’ll give them both one “Like It” each. I’m a new blogger and surely need the guidance of successful venturers. And if I wanted to write and not get paid I wouldn’t bother freelancing, so 88 ways to earn funds sounds really good!

Finally, the surprise of the day: while reading the free book review magazine I picked up at B.A.M., I found out that radio talk show host Chris Fabry has already gotten rave reviews on his debut fiction work, to be released in August 2009, called “June Bug.” I may have to preorder that one.

I’d have enjoyed more time in the bookstore but my back was (and still is) sore from 5 1/2 hours of raking, sweeping, and weed-pulling!

In April, I’m shooting for a Barnes and Noble trip, all the way on the other side of town. Happy Reading!


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