Saturday, October 1, 2011

The British Bookstore

Originally started July 7, 2011 with a September 4, 2011 update.

Since my first visit in February 2011, I have passed this store. Every time I noticed that it had a going moving sale where everything was 10-50% off. I felt sad because I just knew this store would be closed when I returned to live here as we never seemed to be near it during the hours it was open.

Imagine my surprise when upon my return that the store sat in the same place with the same sale. I didn’t know if it were a ruse or not but this time I had a legitimate reason for going in as I needed a German/English dictionary. I thought while I was there I’d check out the other books as well. Geez, I should have known that it doesn’t matter what country but a bookstore is dangerous for me. I walked out ninety-four euros lighter than when I went in but I found some very valuable resources.

The item I went in for actually turned into two as I found a picture book that was about three inches thick. It had almost every word one could think of in both German and English right along side the picture. What could be more easier than that? Now at least I knew what things were but it really won’t teach me how to speak the language any quicker. That will be a whole new learning experience. The other German/English dictionary was another easy find.

Now it was time to just peruse the store. One of the items I went in for was a Gaelic dictionary just like I had at home. I didn’t find one there but I did find a couple of new resource books on Scotland I’d never seen. Of course those went into the basket as well.

I also needed a new reading book and I was happy for find a huge fantasy section as well as a romance section. Both appeared to be fairly up to date as my son pointed out, so I spent a few moments looking at all the selections before picking out  a new-to-me author, Daniel Abraham , and a book called The Dragon’s Path. More important to me was the fact that I had wanted to check out Orbit Books for a long time and this was my chance.

The last item I found was something I knew immediately I had needed before I got here. It was a series of books called Living in Vienna series of books. It consisted of a boxed set of three books, Living in Vienna, Exploring Vienna and Exploring Austria. It is compiled and edited by the American Women’s Association of Vienna for people like me. It tells one everything they should do before a move and once they’re here. The second item under the ‘Essentials’ section is that a laptop and a wireless card is necessary as it will take weeks to get internet up and running.

These books would have been vital for us to have prior and I’ve recommended to the UN that they tell every American family coming here to get them. They tell you how to get your electricity, gas and water transferred to your name. They tell you how to search for a home, get your work permits, your residence permits and on and on. Things would have run a lot smoother if this resource had been available to me in the States. When I searched online, I got some websites but no books. Now that I know about them, you can bet I’ll be telling anyone coming here to get them.

The visit to the British Bookstore was very productive but the main thing I noticed, not one person there was actually British. It gave me a laugh as I put my purchases in my backpack, heavy as they were, and trudged my way back to my apartment. I couldn’t wait for my next visit.

September 4th Update – Alas, there will be no more visits to this fantastic bookstore as while I was in the States, they closed their doors. There is a sign that does say where they did go but it is all in German and the dear husband can’t quite translate it. I can’t wait to find it though as they were the only store I’d found here that has all English books. It was a great addition to my living experience here and I miss it already.


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