Treasure Hunting for Books

So I don't buy a lot of books, partly because of budget, partly because of space limitations, but mostly because most things I read, I know I prooooobably won't care about re-reading it again in the future. Consequently, I use the library for the vast majority of my reading material, but books like classics (which I'm obsessed with) or my all time favorite novels, I tend to seek out to purchase for my home library.

I'm loathe to just pop on to Amazon and order the book I want, because I just genuinely feel like my time and money is better spent exploring locally. This makes for great bookstore adventuring, and I've developed a few strategies to make book treasure hunting easier and more enjoyable.

First, I keep a list on my phone (in my notes folder) with all the titles I'm currently hunting for. A large section of that list is tracking down Penguin Classic editions of various classic novels, as I specifically collect those, but there are always several other titles on there as well. This list ensures I always have a purpose in a book store because there's no forgetting which books I wanted, and I can always justify perusing the shelves. 

Second, knowing that I'm constantly searching for specific titles gives me a great excuse to go check out my local bookstores with some regularity, and to duck into ones I see when I find myself in new city. Stock is constantly rotating, especially with used books, and I've found that when you're in a new place you are generally more likely to find something new and amazing!

This habit means a lot of my books have great stories behind where or how I found them. Some I got for dirt cheap, others I found in bookstores in some of my favorite cities in the world: Paris, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Austin, etc. Books I was searching for have popped up in the most unexpected places, or come with rich conversations with interesting people, or been discovered while hanging out in the cutest, most inventive bookstores. Spending the time searching for my books out in the world has been such a fulfilling adventure over the years; I really just can't recommend it enough. 

At this point, hunting for books has become an integral part of my daily life and has kept me eternally eager to go into bookstores, which translates into spending many lovely hours spent wandering aisles of books in charming places. I've met fantastic booksellers, found a book club, petted fluffy kitties, relaxed in cozy armchairs, and have received too many wonderful book recommendations to count. Above all, I have a tangible reason to keep interacting with the bookish community that I love so much. The journey and experiences are just worth so much more than clicking "add to cart".

What's on your treasure hunting list? Let me know by tagging #TheArdentBiblioReads or commenting below!