Thursday, May 10, 2007

This Ain't A Library, Punk!

Are you one of those people who likes to read the first chapter or so of a book before buying it? Twenty-five dollars is a heck of a lot to pay for 400 pages of unknown quality, especially in today's economy. But maybe you feel a little awkward poking around your local bookstore, sampling books like they're cucumber sandwiches at your great-grandmother's cotillion. Perhaps you imagine that the staff is watching you (they are), judging you (depending on what book you're browsing, they might be), making a mental police sketch of you...just in case. Or it could be that you're just worried that you are unintentionally bending bindings, smudging pages or blocking the aisles. (My, you really are hard on yourself, aren't you?) That's what makes a website like such a wondrous creation. At they have a whole section devoted to book excerpts and first chapters -- over two hundred titles in all! You can read all you want in the comfort of your own home, then sneak out to your local mom & pop bookshop to purchase that which you have just privately perused. And if you happen to leave fingerprints and/or nostril steam-flares on your monitor while browsing, no one will know but you.