Book Haul #21: A Book Nerd Adventure

I went BOOK SHOPPING!!! 😀 And yes, I told myself I wouldn’t. I keep telling myself that. I really should stop saying so because, obviously, it’s not helping. But I am getting a little worried about all this book buying because, again, I’m sitting here facing overcrowded bookshelves. My poor books!

Anyways, on Friday I went to a Barnes & Noble. I had coupons. Two of them, actually, and I felt pretty proud of myself. I had two books in mind that I really wanted to get but instead I left with three.

bookhaul 13-1

Another volume bind-up of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga by Hiromu Arakawa was a given. I’m hooked on the story, just as I was when I watched the anime. I couldn’t leave the store without it. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire has been on my mind since I watched a review of it on Kalanadi, a YouTube channel, and Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin is a novel I recently read about in a Shelf Awareness newsletter. The review made me curious; but when I picked up the book in the store and read the first sentence, I couldn’t leave without it. Plus, I like the jacket design. The spine is so pretty and it has doodles on the chapter pages.

“The bathroom is the first place to emerge from the haze of nonbeing.”

After that excursion, I decided to stop buying books for a couple months. But that vow lasted only a few hours because the next day I visited Politics & Prose, an independent bookshop in Washington D.C., and it took all my self control not to walk out with a bunch of books. I didn’t expect to love the place.

It was a great spring day. The sky was blue with not a cloud in sight, the weather was warm with a hint of cool breeze, flowers and trees were in bloom… It was the perfect day for visiting a bookstore. Of course, it wouldn’t be a perfect Zezee excursion if I didn’t get lost at least once, which I did. I got distracted staring at trees and houses so I missed my turn and went down the wrong road. But when I found my way, I saw my first Little Free Library.

Little Free Library

I was so excited about seeing this. I wasn’t able to leave anything so I didn’t take any books. But I love the idea of these so I’m glad I now know where one is. I continued on my merry way and soon after found a gem:

Politics & Prose

That’s 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW. That addressed is now stamped in my mind due to walking 20 minutes up and down a hill in search of it while wearing a sweater, under shirt, and jacket in 70°F. I’m so paranoid about the weather that I overdress.

Well, once inside the bookshop, I went a little book crazy. I had to see everything and enter every room and scope out all the books. I loved that whatever book I thought of I was able to find on the shelves. I found The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma and The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste, both of which I’ve never been able to find a copy of in the Barnes & Noble stores I’ve visited. Time flew by, but I didn’t notice. When I checked my phone, I realized that I’d spent nearly 4 hours running around the store grabbing books and debating what to get. And from all that time, you’d think that I left with a huge pile. But no. I only got these two:

bookhaul 13-2

The big one is Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole, who also illustrated it. It’s a children’s picture book without words. It’s the first book I picked up when I entered the store and I was surprised at myself that the entire time I walked around debating books, I never considered to return this to its table. (I also thought it weird that as soon as I entered the store, I went downstairs as if I knew where I was going. I didn’t even know what’s down there and didn’t even see what was upstairs.)

I picked up Spot, the Cat because of the cover. I love the buildings on the front and also the cool shade of blue. In case you’re wondering: No, I don’t have kids; and Yes, I bought the book for myself. I also picked up A Time Code by Ruth Ozeki. As you may recall, I listed it in last month’s Wishes for My TBR Pile post. It wasn’t until I left the bookstore that I realized that the covers of the books match.

Now let’s back up a bit to the beginning of this month when I went to New York City to visit family. While there, I made plans to cross an item off my Bookish Bucket List, which was to visit Strand Bookstore. I’ve heard people talk about this bookstore so much and say how awesome it is that I’ve always wanted to visit though I’ve never been a big fan of independent bookstores (topic for another post).

Strand bookstore

It was a wonderful outing, despite the randomness of the weather. Knowing that I tend to spend eons in bookstores staring at books and debating what to buy, my cousin wasn’t enthused to tag along; but even he got caught up in the magic of discovering new books in a busy, cozy bookstore (or so I told myself). Once inside, I was immediately attracted to this thick stack of classics.

classics stack

I loved how they look on the shelves and had to snap a photo. Unfortunately, it’s a little blurry. 😦 I headed downstairs first then worked my way up. I enjoyed walking through the stacks that stretched up and up to the— I can’t recall there being a ceiling. It was also fun to lose my cousin among the books and people. It was as if we were at a book market. There are book wares everywhere and those stacks that stretch up to the far-off ceiling are like trees. A book market in a forest of books.

Anyways, I’m off topic. I spent a few hours there and left with this gem:

When Breath Becomes Air 1

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I’ve since forgotten what made me curious about this book but this review at Worn Corners convinced me to give it a try.

I also visited Forbidden Planet, the comic bookshop next to Strand, where I took this photo:

Forbidden Planet

And bought nothing because I was being responsible. (Being responsible sucks!)

I had a great time at these bookstores and I hope to visit again sometime this year. After all, Trump made me promise. 😛


The rest of this haul was acquired at my usual haunts:

Book Outlet

Immortals series

The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic


Emperor Mage

The Realm of the Gods

…because these are some of my favorite books by Pierce and I plan to get all her books.

The Jumbies 1

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

…because it’s a middle-grade, fantasy novel that includes Caribbean folklore. Baptiste is from Trinidad. Woot! 😀

Vampires in the Lemon Grove 1

Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories by Karen Russell

…because I’ve heard great things about her writing and that she includes elements of magical realism in her stories. I’m curious.

Book Depository

Sorcerer to the Crown 1

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

…because I’m curious. I’m curious about everything! I’m not sure if I like this cover. It’s so ornate. Do you like it?

Barnes & Noble

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

…because discounts. I’d like to try Oyeyemi’s work and I’m rereading GRRM’s series.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

…because one word: coupons. That will be my first Murakami and Stormdancer makes me think of Eon by Alison Goodman


Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Join by Steve Toutonghi

…because the covers are pretty :P. Jane Steele would be great to read after I’m done with Jane Eyre and though I’m not a sci-fi fan, I like what Join is about.

And that’s it. No more books for now. I’m tired.


23 thoughts on “Book Haul #21: A Book Nerd Adventure

  1. Hey, you’re in my area! Glad you enjoyed Politics and Prose. We have some great bookstores here. There’s a children/YA bookstore in Alexandria that’s one of my favorites. I saw my first Little Free Library last summer, it just made my day. You can look them all up on a map but that seems like it would take some of the fun out of it. Maybe I’ll make one some day…


      1. It’s called Hooray for Books, pretty close to the King Street Metro. The staff is great and the selection is amazing. I mostly read e-books but they are great for picking out gift books for kids and teens. Maybe we should meet up some time.


        1. Hi Deb! I’m a year late in following up on this but I wanted to see if you’re interested in meeting up at a bookstore one day.


  2. So many amazing books, yay! I really want to read the Russell book, too, and so jealous of the physical copy of the McGuire! Also, The Jumbies looks so good, have to look it up. I adore the cover of Sorcerer to the Crown, prefer it to the other one. And this book is fantastic, hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂


  3. These are soe wonderful books you acquired 🙂 I hope you enjoy all of them. Fullmetal Alchemist is a masterpiece, I’m so glad to see you’re enjoying it :


    1. Yes! It is a masterpiece. I know that a lot of thinking went into its creation but I didn’t realize how much until I saw one of those 100 things you didn’t know about FA videos on youtube.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such beautiful books!! My aunt promised me this time when she came to see me that she’d take me to the Strand Bookstore and you mentioned it in your post!!! Hopefully when I go to visit her we’ll go independent bookstore hopping


  5. Wow, so many books and pictures!
    1. I love the Little Free Library. I haven’t seen one before in my city :/
    2. The review of When Breath Becomes Air by Deepika was beautiful, so I understand why you bought the book.
    3. Love that picture of the classic books
    4. Yaaasss to Oyeyemi and GRRM!

    Sounds like you had a blast. I miss going on bookstore adventures, but I’m currently on a book-buying ban for April because I was having too many of them. X)


    1. Yes!! It sure was fun. I’d like to go bookstore hopping one day…probably a bookstore and bar hop. That would be such fun. Unfortunately, I don’t have friends who’d be interested in the bookstore part.
      Aww, well once you’ve read through some books and the ban is over, maybe you can go on a bookstore and bar hop! 😀


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