Thursday 21 June 2007

USA: American bookstores

With three hours to kill after the conference, I wandered the streets until I found sanctuary in Borders bookstore. In the UK, the reading of books and magazines before purchase is heavily frowned upon, but not so in America where pre-reading is positively encouraged. Internal coffee shops help promote a reading room atmosphere where new books and magazines lay in chaotic piles until returned to their homes by courteous staff. 

I met my colleagues in their hotel. The Solamar is a refreshing change from the drab pleated-trouser-and-mobile-phone-on-the-hip businessman chains. I sat in the trendy fireplace lounge, decorated in dark reds with more than a hint of Arabic style. We dined nearby and returned to the hotel rooftop bar for drinks around a fire pit. Apparently there was a pool but all I saw was an area of water the size of a foot spa. 

On the way back to my hotel in the wee hours, tramps were snuggled under benches taking advantage of a local free magazine which obviously made comfortable bedding. I was envious.

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