I can NEVER fall out of love with bookstores. There were moments of distraction. Who? The Internet. The online stores. Blogs and tweets and photos and endless streams of information. I’ve blogged hundreds of times, tweeted for more than 41000 times. Some of my best opportunities and favorite relationships have started online. But, in 18 years of non-stop online connection, I’ve learned something surprising. The more time I spend online, the more I realize face-to-face interaction matters the most.
Skype is great (read some great reviews on it) so is Facetime. YouTube is a window into world. Nothing beats being in the same space and breathing the same air. I like real conversations, real readings. I like visiting places such as bookstores, see people buying books and sometimes sudden conversations strike up between people, I like watching their body language on their choice of genre. In the ease of the Internet, in the promise of instant, I looked away from bookstores for a minute and when I looked back some had disappeared. They were closed. They were gone. We didn’t just lose a bookstore though; we lost a bit of magic. We lost a bit of wonder. We lost a safe haven where it’s still OK to dream big dreams. Books are not collections of paper; they’re invitations to different worlds. And being in a bookstore is like getting a passport. Best of all, it’s a curated experience.
Bookstores matter to authors, but more than that, I think they matter to humans. They offer something no Internet site can deliver, they offer space. A room where 40 people or 4 people can get together and discuss an idea. Long live the bookstores.
What say you, book fans? Do you feel similarly about finding books in a physical space, or do you prefer to browse exclusively online? Do you have independent bookstores that you love? What do you love about them? Leave your thoughts about bookstores.
I am participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.
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