No really. At least the ones around here do. Let me explain.
I recently finished Quicksilver (I’ll write the review in as much time as it took me to read it…) and realized I am out of SF to read. Ack! (Currently I’m reading The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, but I have a SF jones right now…) So I loaded up the old Taurus and went a serching for something to read. I have a list of stuff I’m interested and I thought, “Surely I’ll find something…..”….
Hahahaha! First, the bookstore in the mall. Waldenbooks or B. Dalton or whatever is it. Did I mention that it’s small? Really small. The SF section is basically 2 short stacks, front and back. Nothing there. Although the Butlerian Jihad looks interesting, I’m not sure I’m enough into Dune to read it. So nothing there, although they did have a section for Manga. Weird, I though.
So, back in the trusty Ford (unless you count the two, yes 2!, transmissions its eaten…) and off to John’s favorite haunt, Half-Price Books. There’s a reason I don’t go there often, and that’s because they rarely have anything I’m looking for! I think the last time I went in there and found anything was 2 years ago when I found a copy of Declare for $8. Too bad I’ve already read all the Chalker they had, because they had a bunch. But nothing on my list. And nothing by Mr. Kaku either. I think the only chance of success at HPB is to either have no life and spend every weekend combing all Houston-area HPBs (hi John!) or to have a serious book buying addiction where you’ll buy anything, including Fantasy, just so you can say you bought some books (hi John!). So, since John wasn’t with me, I left and headed to:
Barnes and Noble. At least it smells decent inside, even if the coffee costs $7 a cup at the Starbucks. They at least have a decent size SF section. Lots of books there. But, while they have a lot of books, they seem to have a lack of a variety of books by any particular author, except for Tolkien and he hasn’t written anything new in awhile. So the selection is wide, but about an inch deep. They also seem to have a problem with having on hand books 2, 3 or higher of a given series, but not the first one! Hello? Typically you start with the first one! We don’t all buy books irrespective of their series order because we have a book buying habit and we put them in boxes never to be read (hi John!). And I’m not buying hardbacks because they cost waaaay to much. Unless its a special book. Although they did have a small section of Manga. Weird. Upshot: nothing. They don’t even have the SF magazine, and Fangoria and Starlog don’t count. I want something intelligent.
I guess if I was looking for Manga, I’d have had more luck. Why can’t there be a brick and mortar store for Amazon? They have just about any book I want, with the slight problem of not being local so the books have to be shipped. I don’t want to wait, I want it now! I’d love to be able to go online, find a book, order it, then go and get it later that day. This way, I don’t have to worry about my kids throwing the little Thomas the Tank Engines train pieces around in the kids section. Or running up and down the isles yelling and screaming at each other. Oh, and a wider, deeper selection of SF would be nice too for those times when I want to actually browse the books and see what’s there. Anyway, I guess I’m SOL right now. Maybe I’ll go order something from Amazon…