Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rambling Thoughts From an Airport Bookstore

I just got back from a trip to England, which was a  lot of fun, and as usual I found myself at the airport with time to spare.  What better to do than find a bookstore and have a look at what is on the shelves.  At Toronto's Pearson Airport that would be nothing!  I could not believe how bad the selection was there.  I knew that there wouldn't be too much in the YA line, but I was expecting just a little more than The Hunger Games.  Thank goodness for well a stocked e-reader, or my flight would have been book free.

While away I was able to visit a Waterstones (2 actually, about 1/2 km apart) in Liverpool and I was astounded when I asked where the YA section was and the clerk looked at me and said 'what's YA?'  I kid you not!  After some discussion we settled on 'teenage' section and I went upstairs to see what they had - what a disappointment.  Of the three sections of shelving that had been designated for teens, I think I had already seen about 90 % of them.  I am really thrilled that UK teens are able to read our fantastic North American authors and vice versa, but I must admit I was dismayed that there was so little that was new to me.  I guess it really is becoming a small world.  I was hoping for some amazing UK authors that I didn't know and could get all excited about.  Then, when I asked for a copy of Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (to send home to Australia, with my brother, for my nephew) it wasn't even in the correct section, but was with the adult books!

The flight home was from Manchester airport (England) and what a difference there was.  There is a huge W H Smith's at the airport with a whole section for YA (sorry, teens) but again, I was disappointed.  Just the same old, same old.  My eyes lit on a title that I hadn't seen before, 172 Hours on the Moon, by Johan Harstad, and I eagerly grabbed it up and went to pay for it.  Then when I read a bit further, I realised why I hadn't seen it before - it has been translated from Norwegian.

Actually when I searched after I got home, it is available in Canada, with a different cover which is why I didn't recognise it.

The top cover is our Canadian one and the bottom is the UK cover. Has anyone else seen it, or read it?  I've almost finished reading it now, so I'll be putting a  review up soon.  Anyway, to cut a long story short - no nice new UK books to review.  And be warned - when travelling, make sure you take your reading material with you, I'd hate for you to be out of luck the way I was.
PS I actually took the opportunity while I was away to read an adult book - one that I won't be reviewing, but for those of you that are interested it was Event by David Lynn Goleman- courtesy of the sale cart at the library. (Actually it was a pretty good, creepy aliens invading earth, adventure type that I really quite enjoyed.)


  1. Yep, UK bookstores suck. I think you can only get a wide variety of YA in large shopping centres where some of the biggest branches of bookstores are. Even so, I do most of my shopping online because 99% it's all the same in the actual bookstore :( We don't call the genre "YA" in the UK (or at least I don't think so), we call it the "teenage" section, so that's pretty common.

    I bought 172 Hours on the Moon a few weeks ago, need to read it soon!

    1. I'd love to know what you think of 172 hours. Look for my review next week (I think!)

  2. I love Waterstone's! I like going there when I go to England. It feels like an upscale B&N - although it's really very similar.