Books.. to me they are like magical creatures.
I have always been an avid reader, and since I had been a child if I book catches me it doesn't let me go - not even to break for dinner! (I remember my mother having to literally take the books off me when it was time to eat).
Even now, when I enter into a bookshop I am fascinated, attracted by the graphics of the cover, catchy titles, that smell, that so-important font size, and aspect ratio of the book. Sometimes with books it's love at first sight - even before reading the little summary, you just know that's the one for you.
Whether is entering a good bookshop selling new books, or even better some used book fair, old old bookshop, or why not that quirky independent bookshop in the corner, there are some great feelings that come with it.
The best thing that happened to me this past weekend was getting to do yoga in a bookshop, a very nice, independent bookshop with cool displays, great colours, hanging old typewriters...
Yet, these places are at danger.
If they were not already endangered enough from the large library companies (thinking of La Feltrinelli and Mondadori in Italy, or WHS smith and Waterstones in the UK and other parts of Europe and similar), or from the fact that people don't read as much anymore (with other activities such as watching TV and playing videogames taking over their spare time), the internet and the buy-now-with-one-click-and-receive-tomorrow society that we have become is further burying these sacred places.
I admit, I am one of those people who owns an e-reader. I have to say, it is pretty handy for travelling (no longer having to drag with me a whole extra suitcase of books for the summer holidays abroad is a big advantage!) and for the time being living abroad and not speaking much Dutch it does make it easier. But it is a different feeling, choosing a book to read is no more a question of love at first sight, but an endless search through the recommendation based on previous buys from Goodreads or Amazon, which often result in half read books, which has never happened with a shop-bought book before! It is perhaps the fact that an ebook comes from so cheap that buying gets easier and 'throwing away (/archiving)' half-way also gets easier? Perhaps!
But as soon as I have a chance, I try to sponsor these small libraries, or anyway try to get in and find their (unfortunately somewhat limited) English section to see if my next love is sitting there waiting for me. And I try to smile at the owner, maybe have a silly chat, make them feel worth it. And breathe it in, with the nose, with the eyes, the books, the colours, the arrangement of the place, get inspirations, find ideas, look through that art book and discover something new.
I encourage you all to take a step away from your next amazon order and find your quirky corner bookshop!
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