Friday, April 27, 2007

Why I Love Bookstores

Okay, yeah, there's the whole thing with books being there. All kinds, shapes and sizes. The hardbacks, paperbacks, spiral bound, glue-bound, big print, tiny print, blank books. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Books for adults, books for kids, books for "Young Adults," books for artists, computer programmers, motorcycle mechanics and gardeners. All kinds of books for all kinds of readers. And that's a biggie, but there are other reasons why I love bookstores.

Like the fact that I can browse for hours, thumbing through whatever book my hand lands on and nobody will ever come up and ask "are you finding everything okay?" Well, they might at an indie, but NOBODY bugs you at a B&N or a Borders, and I love this. And when I do want some help, the staff are almost always super nice and helpful - 98% of the time, the other 2% I chalk up to PMS or other personal problems that I don't really need to know about.

The smell is wonderful. Libraries are cool, but nothing smells quite like a clean bookstore filled with tons of new books. Especially if they have a coffee shop co-located in it. The scents of coffee and chocolate and new paper trips a little switch in my brain that makes me think of worlds of words and ideas to explore. Pure heaven.

Another nice thing about the B&N's are the tables and chairs scattered throughout the store - not just in the cafe. How cool is it to settle in and read a few pages of a brand new book? Doesn't really matter if you've bought the book yet, you can still get comfy and take some time to figure out if it's really what you want. Again, nobody says "boo" about it.

I'm not an indiscriminate lover of bookstores. There is a used bookstore in town that I just can't go into. My husband loves it, but I can't stand the claustrophobia of 7 ft. tall stacks of books crammed in way too tight. I have this irrational fear of getting too deep into the store and having the bookshelves collapse on top of me. Oh, and I don't like the way the store smells. Sorry, but give me a well-lit, clean, comfy and reasonably spacious bookstore and I'm happy. Stick me inside a poorly lit, overcrowded space that smells funky and watch me fa-reek. Can't do it. Don't wanna, ain't gonna.

Still, there's no other place on earth I love quite like a good bookstore. And I'm so very, very grateful to have them around.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger dink said...


TOTALLY. Bookstores are sensual. I like how you can handle anything you want for as long as you want and I've heard that you can walk out without buying anything and nobody's pissed (of course never having walked out of a bookstore empty handed I can't swear to this).

The smell is amazing, even in bookstores without coffee shops. I love the smell of all books, even old ones. I love how the pages feel and have purchased books for the feel of the paper alone.

I don't have tables scattered throughout my B & N though. That would be cool.

Nice post.

At 12:29 PM, Blogger angie said...

Yeah, the tables are cool.

Wanna know something weird? I don't really like libraries. They smell funky and the lighting is weird. I can hang out in a bookstore for hours, but the library is a definite get in and get out quick for me.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Granny J said...

Now, bookstorewise, I'm on your husband's side -- I love that jam-packed bookstore with the dangerously high shelves. And I love the many unexpected treasures one finds in a used bookstore. I recall building a terrific children's library for my daughter from findings at used bookstores and resale shops. On the other hand, if one is an author, new book sales mean a lot more to one! And I certainly do applaud the modern store (or library) with coffee-and for the patrons.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Libraries used to be comfortable. Now they're filled with computers and there aren't any comfy chairs. It's like they WANT you to leave.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger angie said...

I like used bookstores (I love Bookman's in Flagstaff), but I have some claustrophobia that makes the super-tall stacks of this particular one a no-go. I've been in twice, and each time I had to leave within 3 minutes. But yeah, the hubster really likes it.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Ballpoint Wren said...

I like our Borders more than our Barnes & Noble, because the Borders has little computer kiosks where you can look up the location of a book all by yourself.

Our local B & N insists that you ask one of their staff for help.

And Angie! I'm coming to you from April's blog, where she's hosting her very own Delicious Domingo and highlighted this post of yours.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous anne frasier said...

i could live in a bookstore/coffee shop combo.


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