Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things… About Bookstores

None of this is possible with Kindles or whatever. Not on the internet or on a phone.

  1. Browsing
If you try browsing on the internet, no matter which site you're on, the experience is nowhere even close to browsing in a real bookstore:
Pick up the book and it feels right.
Riffle the pages, looking for illustrations or notes from previous owners.
Quickly get a feel for how dense the text is, how much is devoted to appendices, index, fluff.
So many books are so incredibly beautiful, all by themselves.
Rummaging in the new arrivals, which often leads to...

  1. Surprise!
Finding something great you didn't know was great and didn't know you wanted to read.
Discovering a book by an author you forgot was one of your favorites in a field the author was not known for.
Aren't children's books amazing? Art books? Natural history?

  1. Community
Overhearing conversations about books, authors, other bookstores, writing, anything…
Seeing somebody ahead of you at the checkout buying something you now must find.
Having a bookseller who knows you well enough to know what you need before you know.
Bookstore cats.
Bookstore kids.

What are your favorite things about bookstores? 

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