Thursday, March 4, 2010

Catholic Bookstores

As a literature nerd, I can spend hours in a Borders without getting bored. Just ask my little adopted sister Delaney, I completely geek out at a bookstore. I also get a bit mischievous and I hide anti-Catholicism books in back of Catholics ones. I'll also put good saint or G.K. Chesterton books in plain view. Again, just ask Delaney as she was an accomplice last time I did that at a Borders bookstore. lol. Anyway, while I do spend a good amount of time in secular bookstores, I've made a conscience effort to go to more Catholic bookstores.

Just today I went to Pauline Books and Media in Culver City (which is only a hop, skip and jump away from my school). Can someone fall in love with a bookstore? If not, I might be the first one. I was like a kid in a candy store. I wasn't the only one either; my mother was in literary heaven. She usually has a hard time finding books since she sticks to Spanish language books and the pickings are usually slim. Not at Pauline though. We both spent a good hour or so just browsing. I found a lot of books I'd been looking for (but hadn't found), including the last copy they had of Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World: a Guide for Catholics by T.G. Morrow which I'd been looking for for months. Sadly, I did not find anything on St. Gemma Galgani. The only thing they had was a holy/prayer card, which I ended up getting. Apparently, it's really hard to get any sort of biography of her here in the U.S. so I will wait until I go to Italy to try to find a copy.

I can't rave enough about this bookstore. I loved both the Daughters of St. Paul and the lay women that worked there. All were very sweet. One of them in particular helped my mom out with books in Spanish which I hadn't even heard of. There is a small chapel inside the bookstore where you can go for the Eucharistic Adoration they have at 2 p.m. (which we stayed for). We left on a first name basis with the lady that helped my mother, but not before we got hugs and smiles to last us until the next time we go... which will most likely be very soon.

I'd never come out of a bookstore feeling as elated and at peace as I did out of Pauline Books. I mean, I'd gone to one other Catholic bookstore before (St. Peter's Pier in Canoga Park; one block west of Pierce College) but it was tiny compared to Pauline Books. I think that it helped that I had been doing research on the Daughters of St. Paul before I went -- not for my vocation as I know I am not called to be a religious sister. (btw, if I were called to be a religious sister, I would've loved to have been a Daughter of St. Paul. They do exactly what I want to do.) Anyway, I was so glad I went and that I was able to find a couple of books to help me through this Lenten season. I made quite a dent in one of them already so look for a book review on it very soon (as soon as I can catch up on my homework and whatnot).

Now, I have a question for you Catholics... do you tend to buy your books from a secular bookstore or do you try to get them at Catholic bookstores? I've often gotten some of mine via Aquinas and More but I've gotten others through either Amazon or Borders. After really thinking about it, I've made it a goal to get my books at Pauline or Aquinas and More. I would feel better knowing that my money is going to a bookstore that won't stock up on books about things that are against Catholic beliefs that are morally wrong (i.e. books on abortion.) (P.S. You fellow Jane Austen fanatics, I saw both books AND DVDs of Jane Austen novels in Pauline Books. I had to keep myself from buying the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. lol)

Alright, I actually have to go because it's really late and I need to catch up on homework. Procrastination is my constant companion this semester and I'm trying to change that. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D


Catherine Lucia said...

I actually found "The Life of St Gemma Galgani" in a Pauline's (I live within walking distance of one -- so blessed!!), and they also sold it at the Nat'l Shrine bookstore (here in DC) it is online:

it's a beautiful book!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Seriously? I was told at this one that things on St. Gemma Galgani were hard to get a hold of in the U.S. Thanks for the link! I definitely want to learn more about her. :D

God bless!

Fr. Gjengdahl said...

Here in Minnesota, we have a book store called Loome's Theological Bookstore. It was started by Dr. Loome who is a daily mass Catholic. The store is the largest theological book store in the USA and it is fantastic. It is in an old Swedish Lutheran Church and there are books everywhere. You can look them up online and there are pictures of the store. It's great!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Fr. G - That sounds really cool. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods, I'll have to definitely check it out. I'll also look them up on the 'net. Thanks for the suggestion! :D