Hi everyone, this is a quick blog post for Books Are My Bag.
This month is Booktober, and the people at Books Are My Bag are re-launching their campaign to highlight independent book shops and their importance. The local book shops are closing, and it’s because online retailers are taking business. Their competitive prices are a huge attraction, and in that sense they’re good, but you can’t beat physically purchasing yourself a book.
I love the whole experience of walking into a bookshop and seeing the full shelves, smelling the fresh pages, picking up the books and feeling the unbroken spines. I enjoy reading the blurbs until I find a book I simply cannot put back on the shelf. For me, actually being in a bookshop I realise I find books that I would normally not have stumbled across. If I’m purchasing a book from Amazon I usually go to the site for a specific book, and I won’t browse through to find others.
I like how personal book shops are. When you’re purchasing a book from an online source it’s a faceless transaction, and then it just arrives at your door and you put it into your bookcase until you’re ready to read it. When you purchase books from a book shop, you physically pick your book and take it to the tills to pay for it. You hand over your money to a person that has been employed in that book shop, and then you carry your book home. You may bond with it even more on the way home, perhaps fingering through the pages or reading a chapter. There’s something about that experience you can’t replicate through online sources. I suppose you may save a little money, but what you gain in pennies you lose in experience.
Today I’d like to talk to you about my favourite book shops. In my area, the nearest book shop to me is a small Waterstones and a WHSmith. Those are great book shops, but alas, are part of a chain. So, I’d like to tell you about an independent book shop I visited recently that I loved. When I was on holiday in the Lake District, we took a day trip to visit the small town of Keswick. There I stumbled across this beautiful book shop, called Bookends.
This book shop was not only aesthetically beautiful but also had the nicest employees. I later learnt that the lovely employees were Gwenda and Steve Matthews the owners. According to their website they have lived in the area for over 25 years, and they own this book shop and two more in Carlisle. When I read this information, it puts a name and a face to a business, as oppose to the nameless, faceless suits that own chain book stores and online stores. This really encourages me to seek out more independent book shops. It’s such a shame there isn’t many around where I live.
I’m really interested to see what your favourite independent book shop is, please let me know! Let’s spread the love for these businesses.