A Depressing Book Store Visit

Here’s how an annual positive event turned into a depressing book store visit.

I received a gift card from Chapters for Christmas.

I was thankful for it.

It meant an annual pilgrimage to a store that has often brought alot of delight to me.

I remember when Chapters started: the novel idea that book lovers could be trusted with comfy armchairs and coffee in the same setting, put retail on its head.

The big box brand did make many small booksellers suffer and made finding some local titles more difficult, but the lure of a few hours spent browsing amongst the shelves was some consolation.

Chapters has had some problems of late and sadly it was pretty obvious when we walked into the store.

The Starbucks café was shuttered, permanently, it appeared.

Home décor and gifts that had been proliferating over the past decade had replaced many more book shelves.  And, this could be because we were shopping in January, but even the giftware selection was sparse.

As I browsed through the book aisles, the selection seemed meagerly. In a smaller space, it might have been impressive.

Manfred wandered towards the magazine racks and came back asking “Didn’t they used to have lots of chairs to sit on?”

Publicly, Chapters has suffered a multi-million dollar loss because of a hacking crime.  Recently, retired CEO Heather Reisman has returned to right the ship.  I give her credit for returning at 75 years of age to salvage her dream corporation.

I don’t mean to slag off Chapters and wish them all the best, but next time, I will think a little harder when someone asks me what I want for Christmas.

I plan to remember that the neat little bookshop in our local city has gift cards and I will be making that request my new tradition.

I needed a Virgin Caesar after a depressing book store visit.
I needed a Virgin Caesar after my book shopping.


P.S. Always think local first.  It’s something I preach, but sometimes forget.

Featured Barn Quilt Pattern
Storm at Sea
This is one of my favourite quilts on our Garden Barn Quilt Trail at the Crazy 8 Barn & Garden.
Storm at Sea
This is one of my favourite quilts on our Garden Barn Quilt Trail at the Crazy 8 Barn & Garden.
I love how it looks like there are curved lines and swirling seas although all the lines in pattern are straight.  This pattern also disappears and transforms when it is made into a fabric quilt.
It is a four row grid pattern.
Keep watching here for upcoming barn quilt events.
What I enjoyed Reading …
Finding a shelf full of The Defector by Chris Hadfield was one of the good things that happened during my depressing book store visit.
The Defector by Chris Hadfield

This book would not normally fall into a genre I sought out, but it’s by our favourite astronaut, so I couldn’t resist.  However, it is set in 1973 so, I guess we could call it Historical Fiction.  (If calling 1973 history hurts, I’m sorry.)

Also, every time I read one of Chris Hadfield’s books, I wonder “is there anything this guy can’t do?”
The Defector is the second in a series based on “Kaz” a former USAF test and combat pilot who is working as a liaison with Soviet astronauts and, now, with a Soviet defector.  There is alot of aviation lingo but it is written to be easily understood.

I’m particularly happy that there are some significant loose ends at the end of the tale, so I’m sure there are more “Kaz” adventures coming from Chris Hadfield.

As always, please purchase this book from an independent book shop or borrow from your local library.  This is a great way to support authors and small businesses. 

My mom, Marie Spence, with Chris Hadfield
My mom, Marie Spence, with Chris Hadfield in Chatham in 2014.
Prl (if you know, you know) donated a VaDa for the event. 

Crazy 8 Barn & Garden Recipe of the Week

With so much talk these days about the cost of groceries, Manfred was asking how much a cabbage cost.  To tell the truth, I didn’t know.  I just always thought they were an inexpensive vegetable. so at the grocery store the other day, I searched out the answer.  A green cabbage was $1.29/lb. and it weighed in at 4.5 lbs. equalling $5.80. This recipe would likely use about 2/3s of a cabbage.  Hamburger is a lesser expensive meat and you can reduce that cost even further by substituting half of the meat with red lentils.  So here is a tasty, inexpensive, filling soup recipe that also freezes well.