Blog Hop: Bookstore Whimsy

Second-hand bookshop

It’s the last Wednesday of the month and that means Fiction Writers Blog Hop.

The Blog Hop was created by the talented writer Julie Valerie. Do check it out (see the link above).

I’ve decided to list my Blog Hop posts on a separate page called…. Blog Hop Posts (wow I really am great at naming things)

June’s topic is Bookstores!

Bookstores always have a warm place in my heart. There is something almost magical about stepping into a place bristling from floor to ceiling with books.Groaning shelves packed tight, tables littered with piles, so much colour and information…

They are the sort of places you can get lost in, wander around drawn to new titles, new authors, strange covers… I always considered it the most enjoyable time in town when I came out of a bookshop laden with new novels to read. The anticipation was palpable.

However my love affair with bookstores has quietly ended. This comes mainly from the fact we barely have any in our town centre. Those shops that do sell books are now smaller than they once were. A refurb of the town reduced many stores and the bookshops seem to have turned into shrines to Biographies.

Walking back and forth amid the too modern shelving stacks, I am greeted with row upon row of Celebrity biographies, people barely my age who feel the need to show their life out to their fans… as if it isn’t already out there in every interview, trashy magazine and scandal story.

The comic sans fonted labels proclaiming “Fantasy Fiction”, “Thriller”, “Sci Fi” and “Crime” mark up small real-estate as these grand tomes are barely given a full shelf each.

Instead space is given over to magazines until it feels less like a bookstore and more like a newsagents. Maybe this was the result from the ebook/kindle explosion that some declared to be the “end to real books”.

But the fad is fading and many people who left the page for the screen have returned.

So now the enjoyment comes from travelling beyond my town, in search of new undiscovered bookclaves. Whose shelves are aching with books on every genre, that reveal treasures the longer you search and whose warm inviting feeling is increased when you meet a fellow booklover, arms ladened with their shopping spoils who happily recommends to you some books and eagerly listens to your own favourite authors.

Bring back more of these stores! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOPΒ on Julie Valerie’s website, click here:Β http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-june-2016

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I hope you enjoyed this little Blog Hop post. As a side-note, I am by no means snarking at kindles, I have one myself and I find them useful though I personally rarely use them for reading novels – I use it for reference books mainly.

Do make sure you check out the Guest Post from yesterday written by the wonderful Bonnie Blaylock. Check it out here

Happy writing

Ari

Β NB: photo purchased from depositphotos.com (supporting other creatives)

 

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18 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Bookstore Whimsy

  1. I know I’m interjecting myself in this post kind of late in the game, but the topic is too compelling to move on without saying a little something. I find the dwindling list of bona fide bookstores remaining these days is shorter than a teenage attention span (and I should know – I have two!). When I was a little girl (and that was a long time ago now), the BookNook in Annapolis – an institution on the corner of Maryland Avenue – ushered me in from the cold (in my memory, it was eternally Autumn during bookstore visits). A short set of stairs led me up into a magical gallery, enclosed by a low ceiling and warm, colorful walls. I regularly made the circuit between the BookNook at one end of the avenue and my mom’s antique store – the Gingerbread Shop – down at the other end. 11-year old Sharon, fresh off the bus, would throw open her door, jangling with its cheerful welcome bells, slip out of my loathsome backpack as I skirted the valuables and breezed past Mom’s desk, and shoot straight for the back of the store, where three massive white wooden bookshelves stood sentry over my own little nook of historical books. I cut my teeth on these luxurious 19th century novels – brimming with description. Like musicals, these relics represent a lost art form: no one has the time or interest to listen to all they have to say anymore. Yet a hundred years of readers and one curious little girl knew their power. Oh, how I miss the bookstores of old πŸ™‚

  2. That’s really sad that your town doesn’t have a decent bookstore. And I hadn’t really noticed until you pointed it out: yes, what is flood of biographies of people who are “B-list” at best?

    • Exactly! not even the legend type celebrities that have decades of life under there belt but instead some nobody who went on a reality show (don’t get me started on THOSE) who is like 22 and barely done anything worth writing about! *gets off rant box*

  3. You are so right about the kind of books sold in bookstores today–where are those little gems of books that we used to find in a well-rounded bookstore? I “met” Barbara Pym that way and probably never would have found her otherwise. Loved your post!

    • Thanks Laurie. Yes we need these little treasure trove bookstores back! Ones that welcome you in like a friend and you visit over and over. πŸ™‚

    • Yes! Real books are just so much more comforting. I mean we stare at screens all day, computers, tablets, phones…the idea of only using a kindle for our reading material is almost depressing. I remember when there was the ebook boom and people claiming real books were finished! Ha! not likely, there are enough booklovers to keep them going and apparently there is a resurgence in physical books

  4. I like book stores but these days there’s just one Waterstones in my town and other than that cheap discount stores. These book shops can be great to visit but the books are always the same types, nothing new or different. Instead they love to focus on what sells well.
    I recently found, by complete accident, a cute little independent bookshop in London that has more books inside its small little space than waterstone’s has on two or three floors! It’s like finding a treasure trove and you never want to leave. I stayed there so long I had to leave due to closing time…I would have slept in the store if I could! lol :p

    • lol that is exactly the sort of bookstore I am talking about. These hidden gems that almost feel like our own personal stores, made just for us! Yes there are fewer bookstores nowadays and they just cater to selling celeb books and best sellers. Not exactly supporting authors or readers 😦

      • I hate to say it but that’s why amazon is actually turning into my book store of choice, at least there’s a wide variety of books on it’s ‘shelves’ although it’s not so fun smelling the screen vs the smell of new books. I just love the smell of brand new books! πŸ˜€

      • lol yes, the smell of books is just awesome! I do buy a lot through Amazon because going into town where I live is just….awful. But I would love to move somewhere that had some little quirky bookstore…or maybe I’d open my own! πŸ˜€

      • I understand that. I used to live somewhere with a decent book store now I’ve just got discount stores. That bookstore I found in London is many miles away from home! And honestly I don’t see another bookstore like it for miles and miles 😦
        I’d love to visit your store if you ever open one, just be prepared for me to sleep in the store – I’m that crazy about books I could just stay ther a ll day :D:)!

      • If I ever opened a little bookstore, I would be tempting you to move up North to come work with me and get a massive book discount! πŸ˜€

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