Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Bye, Mr. Steimatzky!

...and booksImage via Wikipedia If you've been reading my blog, you already know that I am addicted to books...I don't have a lot going on in my life, you see. Between being a new immigrant and a staying at home mother, it gets very lonely sometimes. Did I mention that my husband works long hours? So I find comfort and solace in books...Since I am not able to read in Hebrew (well, more that Maya's board books, I mean) I read in English...It was a time I used to buy my books from but I find the shipping fees enourmously high...I have a very good friend, British and I buy from her British chick lit. I also have a Kindle, but we're still in the early stages of our relationship.
As a former journalist I found the smell of paper and ink very appealing. I love books, as you can see...And book stores as well.
Until lately, I had a good friend working at the Steimatzky store close to my house. Because my frequent visits to the store we developed a good client- shop assistant relationship. She helped me find books, ordered the ones that she new I liked , recommended books for Maya...In short, I was a very happy customer...But, the crisis struck the Israeli ecomony and they fired her!!! I was speechless when she told me... Who is going to help me now? I asked myself. And it seems I was right, because after aproximately two weeks after they fired her I went to the shop to see if they had something new...well, they didn't...Nodody cares about the English books department anymore...The staff that works there is nice and all, but they hardly can type in English and when I asked one of them to find me a book I wanted to order she just didn't get it the end, she told me they don't have it...
Come on, people! I know there are not a lot of English-reading persons in Ashdod, but, what the heck! You sell English book so why to let go the only person that had an excellent grasp of the language and knew about what was going on on the book market...
I know can oder on-line from Steimatzky's web site, but it just lacks the human touch...I went to the store to socialize and to talk about books, one of my favourite subjects...It was a time when I used to go to Tel Aviv once a month or so to buy second-hand books and to peruse the Steimatzky book shop on Dizengoff street. I enjoyed it and I think I'll do it again. It is also an opportunity for some me time, as well.
You know, maybe I need to organize a book club...but I am not sure I could find here, in Ashdod, anybody who would be interested....Hmmm...maybe not, maybe yes. This could be a project of mine, instead of just sitting here, feeling sorry for myself...

So, anyone for a book club?

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Esther said...

I remember feeling exactly the same when I was a new immigrant. Luckily English books over here have become a little cheaper since then.
I've now been here 20+ bt I still only read in English and if you don't mind I have a few suggestions.
- If you like Steimatzky have you joined their new customer loyalty club card? -discounts!!
- Has no one introuced you to the joys of Free worldwide shipping means they have received a lot of my spare shekels this year
- And if you like 2nd-hand books - There are several Israeli members and plenty of others willing to send books overseas.
- And for my bookclub needs I'm a member of Goodreads (there is also Shelfari and Librarything) There are so great book discussions and plenty of opportunities to glean book recomendations.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions etc

Alone in Holy Land said...

Hi Esther, thank you for your helpful suggestions. And to answer them:
-yes, I've joined Steimatzky's customer's club. The problem is not with the discounts, but with the book selection!
- I know about BookDepository and I plan to order some books really soon.
-I didn't know about Bookmooch and I am going to check it.
And yes, I am on Goodreads.

Once again, thank you sooooo very much!!!