I heart Bookstores. Bookshops, book mobiles, Anything with books.
They ooze with charm and endless possibilities. Although you can find books on nearly any title of any topic, baby stuffs, maps, notebooks, pencils, and other writing tools round out the available merchandise. But that’s not the reason I love bookstores.
They serve as a melting pot of humanity where people of all age groups, from all walks of life share a love of reading and learning. A bookstore is an equalizer. A teenager is as likely to buy a copy of Jane Eyre ( for English class) as is an elderly lover of English literature. They may differ wildly on their appreciation of the book and also its message but books speak to each of us as individuals. My favourites speak to me because of the life experiences I have had and the story pulls me in or casts me out often depending on those circumstances.
We have all had the experience of borrowing a book recommended by a friend, only to discover that we cannot get past the first few chapters. Different strokes for different folks. What we bring to the reading experience directly affects the outcome.
Bookstores display so many exciting choices, with thousands of storylines or points of view, spins on common topics or confessions regarding the famous. Malcolm Gladwell and Margaret Atwood books are enjoyed by masses of people from many walks of life and Jordan Petersen’s timely best seller attracts those with a desire to read “smart” books. Few other places on the planet offer this much choice. Not even food markets. A banana is a banana, but Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is a veritable banquet of topics.
Every time I venture into a shop I find a classic title or two that evoke memories of times gone by. I recently saw a collection of Edith Nesbit books that I read as a tween. Immediately I am transported to Saturday afternoons on the sofa where I spend hours enthralled with the Railway Children’s latest adventure. The classics I read back in the day, such as What Katy Did, Little Women, and The Moffats still have a stories to tell to children who need only give them a chance.
And what of the simple pleasure of seeing and handling books? If you’re like me, you are drawn to the book covers and the typography. I flip through the pages and check out the font. Is the book divided into chapters or parts? What time periods are covered if any? What other books has this author written and have I read any of them? Would this book appeal to my mother? My son? Myself?
For me, shopping in a bookstore is an event. I rarely pop in and then out. I relish going to the shop and plan to take my sweet time, soaking in the experience, seeing what will leap out at me, and never knowing what I will take away as a new treasure. They charm us and beguile us to venture further inside, where we become hostage to a seemingly limitless banquet of reading material. Every visit is a surprise, and that’s why I will always love a bookstore.