Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Buying on Oahu

I’m heading to Lake Tahoe next week for the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. I attended a few years ago and two of the writers in our group published books last year. They are readers at the conference this year. Our small group is having a reunion to catch up and to support the new authors.

I wanted books for the five hour airplane rides.

On Oahu, there’s really only Barnes and Noble left for book buying. There are few bookstores that carry Hawaiiana and Hawaiian history and many used book stores, but these particular books I wanted are recently published. The one independent bookstore on the island is so disorganized that when I asked for a particular book, the woman looked it up on the computer and said, “We have two copies here somewhere.” And after 20 minutes of looking, both on the shelves and in the back room, she couldn’t find either copy.

So off to Barnes and Noble’s at Ala Moana Mall I went. The “New Arrivals” table had books on it I saw a year ago in San Francisco. They aren’t “New”. I searched the stacks of books and the rows of shelves, but not one of the three books I was looking for was anywhere to be found. The shelves were filled with books I’d already either read, or didn’t want to read. Titles that came out four years ago filled the shelves. Hawaii was way behind. I asked Customer Service for help. The man looked on his computer. “We don’t have those books. I can order it for you. It’ll take seven to ten days.”

“No,” I said, “I need them sooner than that.”

The man didn’t look up from his computer. “They must be small books if we don’t carry them.”

One is a New York Times bestseller. All are with major publishers.

I walked out of the store to head to my car. My thought was to drive to another city and another bookstore to find my books. Then I realized, I’m in Hawaii. There IS no other place to drive to.

The internet, you say. Order them yourself.

I’ve ordered books through Amazon and had them sent here. One took eight weeks to arrive. The other two took three weeks with extra shipping charges for a Hawaii address.

Speaking of shipping to Hawaii, I tried to order more checks off my bank’s website (A VERY BIG BANK). When I added my Hawaii address for delivery, the screen had red letters at the top that said, “We cannot deliver to Puerto Rico or outside the United States. Please enter a new address."

I’m so far from San Francisco and a major City. I can’t drive long distances here. I miss the convenience of San Francisco. People know it’s part of the United States. Friends are there. The weather is hot and sticky here and……. I have Rock Fever.

I’d been warned about this.

It’s why I’m so excited to head to Lake Tahoe and see the beautiful lake. I think I’m going to take my rental car and drive…drive long distances with scenery that changes along the way. I miss California. And yet, I like it here. I do. I’m just not IN the community, yet. I have only a few friends and nothing is like it is on the Mainland. It’s major adjustment.

My cousins arrive tomorrow, and I think seeing family will help. Then, I’m off to see the Tahoe Blue lake with Tahoe bluebird skies. I’m packing now.

I must cure my Rock Fever.


  1. I'm so excited. I'll take a shared room, but I get to drive everywhere, okay?
    I should bring my copy of Learning To Swim and have you sign it. I have Jessica's signature on my copy of Mamalita.