Many years ago I wandered into a bookstore. I can’t remember if I was looking for anything in particular, but I do remember that I didn’t have much time.
After looking in the ‘A’ section, and not seeing anything I liked, I moved onto the ‘B’ section and noticed a thick paperback book with a cute cover … a boy and a girl sitting on a beach by a rock. The title of the book was ‘Light a Penny Candle’, the author, Maeve Binchy. I liked Maeve’s style from the first page and over the years I read everything she wrote.
While awaiting a new novel from Maeve Binchy, I returned to the book store again and again, and when she didn’t have anything new, I strolled along the display cases looking for something else to read.
Along the way I found Anita Burgh, Louise Bagshaw, Tilly Bagshaw, Erica James, Sheila O’Flanagan, Lesley Pearse, Penny Vincinzi, Dan Brown, Joy Fielding, and a few others.
Four bookcases and close to 500 books later, I’m running out of space and was considering switching to e-books.
This attempted switch was disappointing to say the least. For starters, the book I was looking for (The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax) was priced $7.35 in paperback, but $14.35 as an e-book.
Now this doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no paper and ink involved in an e-book, so how can it cost more than a paperback book?
I went looking for another book, but couldn’t find anything that I liked.
“Type in new releases,” Dieter said. So I did, but I didn’t like anything in the list that popped up.
“Try bestsellers,” he advised. I did that, but I still didn’t see anything that grabbed me.
Now what? How was I going to find a book that I liked? It wasn’t like I could stroll the aisles of Amazon, look at books and pick up titles to read the synopsis. I had to sort of know what I was looking for.
And that’s exactly the difference between buying electronically and buying in an actual bookstore. One can wander around and find a new author by accident. As I did with Jilly Cooper and Karen Swan. I didn’t know them. I had never read anything by them, but they had nice thick books and they appealed to me. As a rule I don’t read books with less than 400 pages.
Other than books one finds other things in a bookstore too. People for example. You both reach for the same book at the same time, and after an awkward moment start a conversation. Next thing you know you’re having coffee together, exchanging emails and become friends.
I’ll bet some couples reminisce with their children and grandchildren on how they met in a bookstore.
To me, reading a real book is very different than reading an e-book. I like the weight of the book in my hand, turning pages, and the smell of the paper. I miss that sensation with an e-book.
Other than that, can you imagine sitting in this location with an electronic reader?
Now can you imagine sitting in one of these chairs, in front of the fireplace, with a kitty for company, with an e-reader! No, no, NO, it’s just wrong, wrong, WRONG!