I buy a lot of books, a LOT of books, always have and probably always will.
Back in my youth the only place I could do this was in a bookshop, nowhere else. I used to get on the bus, head into the city and spend the whole day exploring the bookshops. I usually had very limited funds, so most times I only bought one or two and often I had half finished one while waiting for the bus home, or sitting on the top deck.
Nowadays I’m almost ashamed to admit that I do most of my book buying online, it’s convenient and generally cheaper. But wherever I am, if I see a bookshop I have to go in to have a look at the books. Smell the aroma of hundreds of books, admire the cover art, have a flick through the pages, stopping to read random sentences. And I invariably buy a book that I know would be cheaper online but I just can’t help myself, I’m hopelessly addicted.
Book shops give me a chance to browse the titles and find authors that I wouldn’t find online because I have no idea that they exist. I can chat to the people running the book shop and pick up recommendations and pass on a few of my own.
In some shops I can even sit down with a coffee and start to read my new book (so much more comfortable than standing at a bus stop).
If it wasn’t for bookshops every trip into town would be purposeful, efficient and.......boring. There would be no more little indulgences, no more opportunities to check out what I want for Christmas and birthdays. I would be very, very sad.
So here’s what I plan to do to help make sure that bookshops will be around for my daughter and her children and her children’s children. Each time I buy a book online I will also buy a book from a bookshop. I’ll still save money but hopefully will be able to help make sure that physical bookshops continue to occupy a space or two in our towns and cities.
Who’s with me !