Why there should always be bookshops
Written by
jackie edwards
July 2011
Written by
jackie edwards
July 2011
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 ! 

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  • jackie edwards

    Hi Patricia,

    Absolutely. I'm delighted to find that there are so many people who feel the same way. If you could just give a nod to my blog that would be great, it's a total melange of book reviews, pictures and all sort of other stuff that catches my eye. thank you.


  • Patricia Sands

    Your idea is a great one and hopefully we can spread the word. Would you mind if I reblogged this post next week? In January I wrote about the close of our local bookstore after 47 years. They had been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about my debut novel, The Bridge Club, last year and kept it front and centre on their display with fine results. I could never thank them enough. It was truly a community gathering place with a warm, knowledgable staff and they were actually keeping their head above water until a greedy landlord did them in when their lease expired. No amount of community pressure could sway him. There are only a handful of such stores left in Toronto! With your permission, I would love to share your post so please let me know how you feel about that. Thanks!

  • Cheryl Wright

    Me. Me. Me.

  • Olga Godim

    I love bookshops too. Love touching the books, opening them. Buying on Amazon can't compare with the experience, can't even come close. In every town I visit, the first place I'm looking for is a bookstore.

    BTW: wonderful picture of a bookshop. Do you know who is the artist?

  • Donna Galanti

    I agree! My son and I frequent 2 bookshops in our town - one is the used one and one is new. Love both! Spend a few bucks a month at both...plus the occasional Kindle purchase. Can get lost browsing a bookstore for an hour or two

  • Julie Elizabeth Powell

    I absolutely love bookshops - especially the old ones.  Nothing will replace that feeling of a 'real' book in your hands - yes, I admit to a Kindle but print books will always be my favourite way of reading.

  • Laura Milsom

    It's a sign that I just read your post. You are quite right; there is nothing like the wonder of finding a fabulous bookshop and whiling away some hours picking up finds you'd never otherwise have seen. This happened to a friend and I last Friday. We happened upon a bookshop in Kew, London, and dove straight in. Immediately, we were picking up cookbooks using dishes from Dickens and I was arming my friend with books she simply must read. We suddenly also wanted to be mothers and have children to take all the interesting children's books home to. When we went to pay, we got talking to the owner, who had rescued the shop from closing for the community. He explained how he was making a loss each month, and would just love to break even. We've been given the opportunity to volunteer there and work on our own things (my friend, design; me, my book) while running the shop in any spare time we have. We would be paid in 'books, chocolate and tea', which we think is perfect. To try and raise funds to break even, he'll be holding a children's storytelling workshop and we've volunteered to do the posters for it. I agree these bookshops need to stay. And if anyone is passing through Kew, make sure you pop into Lloyd's of Kew Booksellers. You will find something magical.