Monday, February 21, 2011

I heart bookstores

One of my favorite places to go growing up was going to the library.  There were so many books even though I didn't learn to read till I was past 7 years old and didn't enjoy reading till I was 9 years old.  Yes I was a late reader.  I'm sure even then there was concern about that and I remeber going to get extra help outside the classrom.  I can actually remember the first day I learned to read my second grade teacher was so happy she picked me up and kissed me.  I was sooo embarrassed!  Any way what was the big deal I finally understood all the words on the papers and books they kept giving me.  I sweated a lot till I learned to read.  After all that sweating I didn't have any desire to read it was too much hard work to get there.  I was about 9 years old when I fell in love with reading.

As I got older I loved hanging out at the library to do homework, read and work on all those research papers right through college.  After college I probably spent less time at the library till I had kids and then I started spending more time at the library and at bookstores.  Love smelling all those books and knowledge.  Bookstores are another one of my favorite hang outs whether alone, with a friend or  my kids it's definitely one of my happy places outside the home. I hope to share the love for books and knowledge with my kids. 

Now that you know a little more about me I can honestly tell you I love books new or thrifted adult and children there so much to learn right along with my family.  So you can imagine my resistence against those handy gadgets where you can download books.  Really one more gadget?  I spend enough time emailing and blogging and I consider reading a book an enjoyment. It's a pity when I hear about book stores that are going under like Border's and when I read articles about local book store owners struggling to stay open. 
This weekend I got this email from one of my local bookstores Newtonville Books:


"These days customers seem to have the book business on their minds, from Borders's recent bankruptcy filing to the rise of e-books. Some patrons expect us to be gleeful about the quagmire Borders finds themselves in, but the truth is the world needs more bookstores, not fewer, and box stores employ book lovers, too, so there is no upside for Newtonville Books in terms of Borders and their woes. And the e-book market continues to define itself--electronic books currently comprise 9% of all books sold. Not really a significant number...yet. (More people have read HARRY POTTER as a hardcover than own an e-reader at this point, to put it in perspective.)"

"More troubling than Borders, which will likely emerge from bankruptcy to sell books again, or books you can't hold between two covers, is the rate at which independent bookstores are closing across the country. Shelf Awareness, a daily email newsletter for the bookselling trade, is filled with news of neighborhood bookstores shuttering in towns large and small. The white elephant in the conversation is Amazon, but Amazon isn't really the point. Yes, if Amazon's local customers would buy every third book at Newtonville Books, your neighborhood bookstore would be thriving beyond wildest expectations. But the heart of the matter, really, is whether or not our community values a local, independent bookstore like Newtonville Books. From the moment my husband and I rescued the bookstore from closing in 2007 (and steered it through the worst economy since the Great Depression), we've endeavored to make Newtonville Books a cultural center for the neighborhood, introducing book clubs, Grub Street workshops, and our own writing workshops, as well as continuing the First Editions Club and the award-winning reading series established by the previous owner, which brings nationally-recognized authors to the community. This is the sort of literary programming Borders, Barnes and Noble, Costco, Target and Amazon don't provide in exchange for their deeply discounted books. If you haven't shopped with us recently, I urge you to visit and see what we're up to."

This email definitley stuck with me over the weekend.  I shop all over when it comes to books thrift stores, big chain, local and the whole sale club.  My favorites are the thrift stores and local book stores because they have a certain charm.  With all this in mind I have been trying to link my books to Indie Bound and try to remember to shop local and hope that you'll try to do the same to keep the book stores going. 

On another note if you are near Newton, MA this Thursday  7:00 pm Alice Hoffman will be in at Newtonville Books. 

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great post! Nothing better than holding a book in your hands:) Well, maybe seeing children with stacks of books in their possession is another favorite:)

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