What I like about you (bookshops)...
Ok. Let’s talk about Amazon, shall we?
We have all bought a book from this major conglomerate, haven’t we? I am, as well, guilty of charge. It is the ease of access, the low prices, and the overall convenience of ordering a book online, the factors that motivate many bibliophiles to rely on Bezos’ company. Though a lot can be said praising delivery times and discoverability of some titles, there is something that Amazon lacks in my opinion, and that is: a soul.
I don’t know if you feel the way I do about good ol’ bookshops, but you must admit that walking into one does something to you. It makes you feel at home, surrounded by a sea of books waiting to be read. Walking through aisles, if you visit a high street store, or shuffling in between rows of stacked books if you prefer the quaint and marvellous small ones, puts you in the position of an adventurer whose only compass are his senses. The freshly printed tomes beckoning everyone who enters to the tables or shelves at the front of the shop, or the dusty tomes that half-forgotten wait for the avid reader that is looking for them. The smell of books, the customer service, the quietness of some (an argument can be done about a few), the chairs (oh god how I love them!), all of it makes for an experience that is difficult to replicate in any other place, and that is the word that is key in the point I am trying to make: experience.
It’s all about the experience of being a bit lost, and sometimes not even finding what you were looking for. The hunt. The excuse to stop by that favourite bookshop of yours or even to visit many in a day and getting many lovely titles that you didn’t even know you wanted. Of course, this means your wallet will be empty at the end of the day, but its ok because you are investing in yourself (or so I tell myself after getting too many books). In the day and age where everything is one google search away, where by typing some keywords we have access to everything, I would argue it’s a necessity to get a bit lost once in a while.
Recommended read: Browse published by Pushkin Press.
Tell us your favourite bookshop experience, we would love to hear more about you!