Author Topic: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?  (Read 6367 times)  

Offline Straker

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Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
« on: February 18, 2012, 09:19:36 pm »
I vividly remember the first book I bought with my own money: a paperback copy of Star Trek 8, one of a series of adaptations of Star Trek episodes by the British SF writer James Blish. I got it (after many weeks of saving) from a wire spinner rack at the local First National supermarket where we did our shopping every week after church. Around the same time, I recall browsing the small paperback section of the local drugstore (Horgan's) and being vaguely scandalized (at about age 8 or 9) by the Shel Scott men's adventure novels featuring cover images of slinky women in various states of undress! Later, I would occasionally visit a local greeting card & gift store called Sackett's that also had a wall of paperbacks, where I'd buy SF books and novelizations of popular movies. Finally, in about 1975, a real honest-to-goodness shopping mall opened in our area which contained a store that sold nothing but books! It was a Waldenbooks and I would have brought my sleeping bag & moved in if they'd have let me. Their SF section was bigger than the entire book department of all the other places - heaven!

It kind of makes me miss the DTB experience...well, a little anyway.



P.S. Don't ask me why the Enterprise crewman is carrying a helmet. Maybe he's got a Harley stashed nearby or something...
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    Offline Harry Shannon

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 07:48:30 am »
    I used to read anything and everything lying around and lived in the public library. I cannot remember the first book I bought for myself, but it may have been Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I saved up for it and went to hear him speak at the local library. After that I hung around a joint called The Paperback Shack and bought used books with every extra dollar.

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    Offline Sean Patrick Fox

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 08:07:50 am »
    I remember spending lots of time in Barnes & Noble browsing the Fantasy and Science Fiction section. Most of my money was spent on various books in the Dragonlance world. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that now  :D

    Offline Rook

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 09:59:42 am »
    I remember my dad taking me to a second hand bookstore when I was in maybe second grade. He said I could pick out any book I wanted. I said "really? Even these comic books?" To which he responded that it didn't matter what I read so long as I found something I enjoyed.

    That approach worked to help make me a lifetime reader.
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    Offline StephenLivingston

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 10:29:02 am »
    When I was a kid at primary school we bought little stamps and saved them up until we had enough to buy a book from the school's bookclub.  I remember getting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl that way.
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    Offline Jorja Tabu

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 11:02:46 am »
    I remember my dad taking me to a second hand bookstore when I was in maybe second grade. He said I could pick out any book I wanted. I said "really? Even these comic books?" To which he responded that it didn't matter what I read so long as I found something I enjoyed.

    That approach worked to help make me a lifetime reader.


    This is almost exactly what happened with me!  My dad took me to a second hand book store within walking distance of our house, and opened a barter account for me with about ten bucks.  I still have it, over twenty years later, and even though I don't remember the first book I bought, I am sure it is somewhere on the shelves in that store, or bartered back out for another one I might have read later.  It's a nice feeling.

    Offline jumbojohnny

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 11:14:16 am »
    I don't want to re-tell Monty Python's Three Yorkshiremen Sketch, but as a young kid it wasn't about buying but going to the library - no money for books - not a penny. However, as time went on and things improved I had enough pocket money to then buy books if I wanted. My first purchases were supposed to be a couple of the Onstott - Horner offerings about slavery, but my sister-in-law quickly jumped in and suggested Tiggsy the Fluffy Bunny or something - I didn't know what was in those books apart from adventure tales set around a cotton plantation, now I do, and although the pair were not obsessed with sex there was enough in there to be unsuitable for a 9 year old. Anhyoo, thankfully Tiggsy the Fluffy Bunny stayed on his shelf-hutch and I bought the two Colditz books by Pat Reid.

    Offline churlishfellow

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 03:34:25 pm »
    So hilarious to me that the initial post mentions a Star Trek book.  I remember my first "need" to have a bookshelf of some kind in my room and it was for my whopping library of two (2) books.  One was Splinter In A Mind's Eye and the other a Star Trek book.



    These first two books were gifts, but my first remembered purchases were in high school.  I specifically remember gobbling up the Piers Anthony Xanth series.  There might have been others that were first, but that's my first remembered book.

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    Offline Ty Johnston

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 11:26:31 pm »
    The first book (other than comic books) I bought with my own money was Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster. This would have been about 1978 or '79, and it was the first sequel of any kind having to do with Star Wars. As a kid, I HAD to have it.

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 12:34:36 am »
    My earliest memory is of being given a book in preschool. I don't remember the title but it had a suitable Christmas message, it being Christmas.

    Offline soyfrank

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #10 on: February 20, 2012, 12:44:19 am »
    I remember buying my first book from one of those "book mobiles" they had in elementary school. Anyone remember those? It was a great program, and my parents were happy I was interested. I bought two Encyclopedia Brown books. They were fantastic.
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    Offline KindleChickie

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #11 on: February 20, 2012, 01:25:05 am »
    My childhood memories were of the library also.  I also scrounged old paperbacks where ever I could.  I remember finding an old copy of Tarzan in a desk someone had put on the curb and being surprised how much I loved it.  I checked out all ERBs books from the library after that.
    « Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 01:27:09 am by KindleChickie »

    Offline B.A. Spangler

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 09:03:19 am »
    I remember my mother taking my friends and me to the mall where we eagerly grabbed volumes of Choose your own Adventure books - loved those!!

    Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #13 on: February 20, 2012, 09:04:50 am »
    My earliest memories of actually purchasing books myself are going to the base exchange near Toul, France in the mid-fifties. Paperbacks were 25 cents each. I remember in particular that one of the first times I went there, I picked up two SF novels, started towards the cashier, and realized I didn't have enough to pay for both. I put one back and bought the other, then started the walk back to my dad's office to meet him to go home. Partway back I flipped the book over and saw the cover of the book I had put back! I was amazed. This was my introduction to Ace double books.

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    Offline Todd Trumpet

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #14 on: February 20, 2012, 04:25:34 pm »
    I grew up in Detroit, and every elementary-aged kid in the district would be given a periodic catalog of children's books (Scholastic?) that could be ordered through the school:  You went home, filled out a tiny order form, brought your money back to class, turned it in, and - voila - a week or two later, your teacher would hand you a neat little stack of books, all shiny and new.  I don't remember many of the specific titles (though I'm sure Clifford The Big Red Dog and Encyclopedia Brown were on the list) but I do remember the excitement when the books came in.

    It was a sweet little program.

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    P.S.  And to add to the "early-STAR-TREK-book-on-the-shelf" part of the discussion, here was mine:

                         

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    Offline jaimee83

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #15 on: February 20, 2012, 04:58:06 pm »
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    Offline flipside

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #16 on: February 20, 2012, 06:27:27 pm »
    I'd go to the local bookstore to purchase books based on Nintendo properties, Tom Swift, and various Choose-Your-Own-Adventures books (aside from the famous Choose Your Own Adventures brand, Nintendo had a line for Mario, and Spacehawks).

    Offline Jan Strnad

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 07:38:44 pm »
    I saw this question and regretted that there was no way in heck I could remember the first book I ever purchased. And then it came to me: Alien Planet by Fletcher Pratt! Racked next to the comic books at Tompkins Sundries in Wichita, Kansas.

    Dang. Those brain cells have been hanging around a looong time just waiting for a little juice to fire 'em up!

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    Offline KathyLynnHarris

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 08:55:17 pm »
    Another great thread here. I remember distinctly how excited I was when a paperback exchange bookstore opened up in my small, rural hometown in South Texas. I saved up to buy one paperback, then spent an entire summer going in every week to exchange it for another and another. The first book I bought (that wasn't through a mail-order book club) was Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes. I still have it!
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    Offline Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 11:31:25 pm »
    It was the library for me until I got close to my teens and a Hastings Entertainment store came to town. I bought many a Babysitters Club book there and would later swap them out at the used book store for the ones I didn't have yet. Loved the used book store. Also loved Waldon's Books in the mall and was sad when they shut down about a year back. Now we don't have a dedicated bookstore in town, just Hastings, which is really more about movies and music and board games with just some books thrown in on the side. If I want a bigger selection I have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Barnes & Noble.

    Offline Lyndl

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #20 on: February 21, 2012, 01:54:25 am »
    It was Moonshine Island.  I don't remember the author but a google search shows one by Edith Miles which might be it. It was about 35c, which was a fortune to a 9 year old. I saved for weeks to buy it, I was so proud of myself!  I do still have it somewhere packed in a box.

    The second book was Ballet for Laura (by Linda Blake)  I received a copy of the sequel (Laura's Summer Ballet) as a birthday present.  This one was a whopping 60c !    These two books started my lifelong obsession with books.

    Offline Neil Ostroff

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #21 on: February 21, 2012, 11:22:09 am »
    I loved the smell of the old time corner bookstore. There was nothing like it.

    Offline Martin OHearn

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #22 on: February 21, 2012, 11:29:41 am »
    After appropriating the family's Tarzan paperbacks for my room's bookshelf, I went for indisputable ownership with Burroughs' A Princess of Mars and The Chessmen of Mars. What makes the purchase stand out is that I bought them mail-order from Ballantine, because that month they weren't on the shelves in the neighborhood bookstore.
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    Offline Not Here

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #23 on: February 21, 2012, 11:30:07 am »
    I don't know if I could really remember the first book. Seems like there were always a ton of books on my bookshelf or we were checking them out of the library. I also remember being very little and picking out books from used book store or garage sales. Actually, I can't remember a time when I wasn't getting new books to read. :)

    Offline QuantumIguana

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    Re: Your Earliest Memories of Buying Books?
    « Reply #24 on: February 21, 2012, 12:00:21 pm »
    It is hard to remember clearly. The nearest bookstore was 60 miles away, but our house was full of books. I read much of what the tiny school library had, and there was always the bookmobile. My earliest memory of buying books was placing the orders for the Scholastic books in grade school.

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