People You See at Bookstores

I love bookstores

What reader doesn’t? Bookstores=places to buy books. They’re entire stores DEVOTED to selling those bound pages filled with ink, etched on in a specific order to create a beautiful story.

So where the heck is this going?

On Wednesday, July 7, I went to a bookstore for the first time since quarantine began. In honor of that (and yes, I know it was actually a while ago by now) I wanted to write a post talking about different bookstore people. Just like there’s different ways to eat an oreo (pull the sides apart and eat the chocolate cookie and then the inside and then the other cookie, obviously), there’s different ways to browse a store.

(Note: All of these terms and definitions have been created by me, and are not any sort of official term. Any similarities to other posts or other terms that people have used was entirely by mistake)

The Browser

The browser is someone who goes to a bookstore to look at books, but not necessarily buy them. Maybe they have enough money for one or two books, but really they’re just here for the experience. Bookstores are this place where you can just see books upon books in displays, all put out so neatly, and new and beautiful. Sure, you can see any of these books online, but seeing them all laid out together, and so nicely, is just something else. The Browser will spend hours, if they’re allowed, just looking at the books, sometimes running their hands over the spines, or pulling one out to hold it, looking at the same shelf over and over and then looking some more even though they already know what it looks like. They don’t need to buy anything–they can get all these books from the library. In fact, they almost don’t want to buy the books–after all, what if they don’t end up enjoying the one they buy? They’re just satisfied to look at them.

I am most certainly a Browser. It’s actually fairly rare that I go to bookstores, and when I do, it’s even more rare that I spend my own money. Most of the time, I’m either using a gift card or getting a book for my friend’s birthday. I’m actually an extremely cheap person, and spending my money isn’t something I enjoy, so I’m totally satisfied by just staring at the books. I LOVE going to bookstores just to look at the displays of books and to see how many books are OFFERED.

All Business

Someone who is All Business is simply in and out. They come to a bookstore looking for a specific book, they find it, they buy it, and they leave. Sure, they like books, but it’s not like they’re going to look at displays of them for a long time without buying them. They’d rather just return to their houses to curl up on the couch with the book they did want, and if they want to look at books they can find them online.

People who are All Business just don’t appreciate the amazingness of bookstores. They’d rather have the one book they specifically wanted than be surrounded by books and take them all in. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a specific book, but if you’re going to be at a bookstore anyways, just stop to look at some other books. If you’re only there to get one, just buy it online. (no offense if you’re All Business. Just…take a little look around, next time.)

The Spenders

This one is rather self explanatory, but The Spenders are the people who come to bookstores to buy books. Maybe they came to the bookstore to get one or two books, but there’s just so many shelves, and so many amazing stories…they can’t help but leave with five. At the least. Spenders are like Browsers in the way that they’d spend all day in a bookstore because they love seeing the books so much, but the difference is that Spenders aren’t afraid of using their money on these lovely volumes.

Spenders and Browsers are pretty closely connected, and I would definitely be a Spender if I weren’t so cheap. In fact, I’ve been known to pull lots of books off of the shelves at stores, just so I know how many books I would get. But I never do.

The Dwellers

Dwellers treat bookstores like their own living rooms. They’ll spend hours in bookstores, too, but they don’t come to buy books…they come to read books. They’ll pull a book off the shelf, find a nice seat in the store, and start reading. Maybe they’ll get through a few chapters, maybe they’ll get through the whole book. Maybe they’ll buy the book, maybe they’ll stick it back on the shelf. The bookstore shelves are practically their own shelves, the amount they read from them.

I would totally be a Dweller if I could, because just curling up in a bookstore with a good book sounds amazing. Especially because, yeah, I probably won’t buy it once I read it. But I also have these weird irrational fears that a) an employee will kick me out/make me buy the book because I’m just sitting here reading it without paying or b) I’ll accidentally damage the book and then I’ll have to buy it.

The Drag-Alongs.

Drag-Alongs don’t necessarily want to be at the bookstore (for whatever reason). Instead, they’re the siblings that you forced to come with you on your monthly book-searches, or the little kids whose mothers just need to pick up the book their book club is reading. They spend the entire time complaining or causing chaos. The only way to distract them is to set them up in the cafe attached to the bookstore with a muffin. If there’s no cafe, guess you’re out of luck.

Honestly, I think we’ve all been Drag-Alongs at some point in our life. If not at a bookstore, at some other store that your parents are forcing you to come to. And while Drag-Alongs are no fun for the person they’re with or the other customers at the store, we can at least have a little sympathy for them…right? They’re just little kids… (unless they’re the older sibling that your parents made you bring when you said you wanted to go to the bookstore…)

Just Killing Time

The fact that people who are Just Killing Time ended up in a bookstore isn’t necessarily on purpose. They didn’t actually choose to go to this store, but they just wanted to go somewhere when they had a little free time, looked around, and there was the bookstore. They don’t know if they want to buy books, or look at books–they don’t even know if they like books. They’re just here to hang around. People who are Just Killing Time are usually teenagers.

These people are not always great to run into…they’re often loud and in the way because they’re just looking to cause mischief.

What did you think of this post? It was a little random, I know, but I thought it would be a bit of a fun thing to write about! What type of bookstore-goer are you? Can you think of any other type of person in the bookstore?
Thank you so much for reading this post! I really hope that you enjoyed it! As always, stay safe and keep reading!