Whilst in Toronto I "accidentally" discovered that the World's Biggest Bookstore* was very close to our friend's apartment so I gave my husband the choice of spending some time there or visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum...
He chose a trip to the bookshop (on condition he could buy books too!) and when I realised just how many books this place stocked, I genuinely felt a bit overwhelmed... and a bit over-excited too. Aside from a library, I honestly don't believe that I have ever seen this many books in one room! It was such a delight as well to see so many Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre books on display and I spent aaages browsing through them - oh the novelty of visiting a book shop that actually stocks an entire series! They also have a great graphic novel and manga section and it was fabulous to be able to look at books that I've only read about online and get a real feel for the artwork.
I only allowed myself to buy three books there and they HAD to already be on my wish list although I concede that given the length of my wish list that's not exactly difficult to do. I bought an anthology of Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry, Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town and Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves. The first two have a Toronto connection so it seemed appropriate to buy them there and the third I have had my eye on for a while and just looked too interesting to pass up. A seriously crazy looking book that would have been perfect for R.I.P. IV! I am a bit cross with myself that I ended up not buying any of Alice Munro's work whilst there, given she's a prominent Canadian author whose work I have not read, but I honestly felt a bit overwhelmed by the sheer choice.
If I could have worked out how to get them home, I could so easily have bought many, many, many more books as just by browsing I found so many tempting reads that I'd not previously heard of. There really is something about being in a book shop and having such a huge choice about what to buy there and then that is so alluring. Just as well that shop is in another continent really or my bank balance would be (more of) a disgrace. I wish that there was somewhere near me where I could go and look at books I have read about online but I doubt Norwich is really large enough to support this scale of shop. :(
* actually no longer the case but it was certainly a big one and given that's the name of the shop, I am not sure how else to refer to it!