Books fit right between your hands
iPads. Computers. Amazon. Social Media. Where do books fit in today? Where they always did. Right between your hands.
People ask me all the time, “What’s the use of a bookstore in this day and age?” It may surprise you to know that the popularity of good old-fashioned books surpasses e-books and audiobooks. A majority of readers still prefer actual books. Why?
The smell of the ink, the heft of the book, the impulse buy, the spot on the bookshelf – these things matter. So does the ability to share your book with your family and friends. It’s hard to share your iPad; you always need it. And you can’t read a Kindle or iPad in the most relaxing place in your home – your bathtub.
Book stores shine the light on current children’s literature as well as providing parents and grandparents with caring people to help them choose just the right book.
Did you know that we’re celebrating the 90th anniversary of the publication of “The Little Engine That Could”? That the latest Newbery Award winner is “New Kid” by Jerry Craft? Do you know what books Texas librarians selected for kids to read in 2020?
By introducing children to reading, we set them on the path to adult success because readers can learn about anything, to any degree of expertise, with or without classroom attendance. If you want to know how far this thought can go, read “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
Adult readers also seek information and recommendations. This is the sweet spot for independent booksellers (Indie Bookstores). No wonder Indie Bookstores are surging back in record numbers.
People wander into the bookstore every day. When asked, “Can we help you find something?” a lot of them throw up the defense wall – “Oh, just looking!” Of course they are, but most of them end up telling you what they like to read or haven’t read for a while. They don’t want to be pounced on, but they want to know what to pick that day. They want to talk about books with other book lovers. Readers don’t want to miss the next “great read.”
Small, independent bookstores create a reading community. There, you can find your next great read, sip a cup of tea, and find a kindred spirit to recommend, find, and discuss books. This is the place to discover the world through ideas, history, and personal thought from a wide variety of authors.
In these troubled times, with the boundaries of COVID-19, travel the world and visit different cultures, unusual places, and other times from the safety of your front porch through the books you read. Try “Deacon King Kong,” “Olive Kitteridge,” “Carnegie’s Maid,” “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine,” just for starters.
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