28 November 2006

Chocolate for Books?

My screen name is not just a name, it is also my profession. I am indeed a librarian, something I have been fated to be since I first picked up a book. And promptly chewed on it. Of course, I was only a baby.

But once I learned to read, I immediately became a voracious reader. And I rarely chew on books any more.

Books have always been a mainstay in my life. From childhood on, they have been my preferred gift for any gift-giving occasion. (Although most have learned to give me a gift card because I likely have already read whatever book they purchase.) And I spend more money on books than any other "luxury item." For me, they are not a luxury. They are a necessity.

I read a lot. No really. You have no idea. Most people think "a lot" is 5 or more books a month. Try 20-30 books a month. When I am in a real reading mode, I could go as high as 40-50 books a month. When I was a member of the national Best Books for Young Adults Committee, I read over 500 hundred books during the year.

And I read everything. Fiction, nonfiction, academic, a multitude of genres, magazines and so on. I read for all age groups from children through adults. And, in times of desperation, the back of a cereal box. But only when I don't have anything else.

My point is that I really, really, really love to read.

Therefore, you may see that perhaps moving to a country that doesn't speak English and therefore will have a limited supply of English-language books may pose a slight problem.

I am researching my various options which range from Swiss libraries to Orell Fuesli English Bookstore on Bahnhofstrasse to UK Amazon to the new Sony E-Reader where you download books to a small computer about the size of a paperback.

But given my voracious reading habits, I will likely need to supplement the combination of options listed above.

How about this -- Chocolate for Books! Y'all send me a box of books and I will send you a box of premium Swiss Chocolate.

Of course, I would need to send you a list of preferred titles...

Deal anyone?


Expat Traveler said...

Ah yes! I've got some hints for you.. There are 2 great English bookstores in Basel. Ok, I know it's not Zurich but I just never looked there in Zurich.

These 2 books stores are located right outside the bahnhoff going away from the Rhine and the city center and the main tram central. You have to cross over the bridge on the upper level of the train station (shops galore) and down near the sporting goods store and the electronics store in the train station to the road.

They are all used books, 100,000's of them. There quite a good selection of books too. I'd say the two stores are within 2 blocks of each other. I forget the names... There's also a few good books stores with English sections in Basel but prices are normal for swiss standards.

One is small and almost straight off the train station. The other is off towards the left and just past the apple store...

I guess you can email me for more information..

I also know of one store in Bern which is great for English books but pricey...

I'd suggest looking for Used bookstores and see what comes up in Zurich... You also might search Zug since you aren't far away via train.

Pointless Drivel said...

Would we be trading by weight or volume?

Global Librarian said...

Traveler: Thanks for the info. I'll have to look about for used bookstores in Zurich once I get there.

Pointless: I was thinking the trade would be based upon cost of product.

The Big Finn said...

GL - I think Amazon UK is your best bet. Unless things have changed in the past month or so, there's no import duty on books in Switzerland. Just order them from Amazon UK, and they'll be at your house in a couple of days.

Kurt said...

Hey there.

I used to be a voracious reader too. Used to read 5-10 books simultaneously each day, and went through god only knows how many per month or year hehe. I still love to read, but just don't have the time to read like that anymore...probably down to 5-10 books per month now.

At any rate, you should do what I did...learn another language :) When you run out of books, pick up a few language books and get some basic reading fluency down in the language of your choice. Then you can read however many books you like! En Suisse of course French, German or Italian would be ideal. And if you've got money to burn, the Rosetta Stone computer programs are quite good for fast language learning, though they skimp on grammar.

Good luck!

Global Librarian said...

Thanks for the tips, TBF and Kurt!

I'm actually already hooked into Rosetta Stone. Because I have a Kansas City Public Library card, I get electronic access to over 50 languages at no charge!

And I am doing the German literature. At this stage it requires a lot of time with a German-English dictionary. But I suspect it will become easier over time.

swissmiss said...

Amazon.de has a lot of English titles as well. And even if it's not your style it's probably worth hooking up with your local American Woman's Club or English Speakers Club if only to serve as a resource for used books, loaners, give-aways (people are always moving away) and book clubs.

Although I can read German literature, I rarely do. It takes too long for me to forget that I'm reading for pleasure and not to learn that I can never get into the pleasure of it. Except for Judith Herman, who writes wonderful short stories.

And I'm grateful for Expat's advice too! Might be time for a trip to Basel!

Today's Friday, so I'm squeezing my thumbs for you, which is the Swiss version of crossing fingers.

Global Librarian said...

Thanks, Swiss Miss.