Can you look at your bookshelf and remember where you bought the books? Do you know how you came across the one you’re reading now? Do you have a great memory of an unexpected discovery? Then you probably love bookstores as much as I do.
The doom and gloom of the headlines with regards to bookstores is everywhere. Borders recently closed many stores (and more may be happening), the independent bookstores are almost extinct, and ebook readers are on the rise to the point where this week Barnes and Noble announced their first ebook signing event. Yes, that’s right – Sandra Boynton will be *signing* her Going to Bed Book using a new app on the B&N color Nook (which I admit to coveting/craving).
But I have to say – I love spending time in a bookstore. I love wandering the stacks. I love standing in a section I don’t normally check out, just to see what’s there. I love when a bookstore has places to sit, whether in a cafe or within the stacks, so I can be surrounded by the books, pretending I have my own library. I love having a gift card that means I can try something totally new and/or not usually in my budget. And don’t get me started on the periodical section. SO much to read and learn.
What will happen to impulse purchases of something you didnt – couldn’t – plan? What about the amazing writer you discovered because her book was on the shelf above your current favorite? How will you find those gems? What about the non-fiction book that was better suited to you which you found next to the one you came in to buy?
Because the only way to enjoy these things is at a brick and morter bookstore, I am continuing to hope these stores stay around for a long time to come. Yes, they have to go with the flow of new technology, but they should never completely give up on the sheer pleasure many of us get from the process of looking for a book.
It’s almost as good as the reading part.
What’s your favorite bookstore? And… if you want to see some of the most interesting bookstores in the world, click here.