The wonder (and danger) of bookstores

Just SOME of the books that I wanted to buy

Soo the latest escapade in my travels has been to West Chester, PA.  On Monday, I walked into the charming downtown area, filled with shops and restaurants. I almost never left, because I walked into a discount bookstore called Armadillo Book Co. Discount bookstores are the best for a literary lover who also happens to be a bit strapped on cash. Or, they also can be the worst.

I spent an hour in the two-leveled but small shop. Crosby Stills & Nash was playing in the background(songs like Long Time Gone) –which made my browsing experience all the better.

I found soo many books that interested me—SciFi,  journalism, and more.

But, alas, I didn’t want to spend too much, so I only bought three books as a gift for my boyfriend’s birthday (happy birthday to him today).  Again, great thing about stores like this one is they’re cheap.

But even if a bookstore isn’t cheap–say Barnes & Noble or the late Borders– there is still something wondrous about the smell of paper, the rows and rows of literature and knowledge, the relaxing, studious quiet. (And in many cases, the even more awesome addition of coffee).

Yet, more and more people are going to this e-reader nonsense. Their logic? It’s cheaper in the long-run, it’s portable, it holds more books in a small space, it’s a new fad-gadget that you just MUST have, it’s progress…

And yet, none of this makes sense to me.

If you can’t afford pleasure-reading books (I’m not talking about student textbooks here), check out your local library, or find a corner bookstore akin to the one I found above. And if there is a book you MUST read, what’s so awful about paying full-price for a few books?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned or stubborn, but I like having pages to turn, printed words to look at, and in some cases, decades-old books in my hand. I’m reading Lolita right now (positively disturbing book), which I checked out from a Connecticut library. The pages are worn, and it’s not “pretty” but I like knowing I have something from the past, that others have held and read before me, in my hands. Meanwhile, I personally believe an e-reader would just be another addition to my cell phone, ipod, laptop, TV… you get the idea.

Reading should be a way to unplug yourself and immerse yourself into another world or new knowledge.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is, take some time and relax. Go to a bookstore or library, and spend an hour just looking. Buy or check something out. Read it. This is something people aren’t doing as much anymore, as shown by the sad demise of Borders, and I believe reading physical books and spending time in an atmospheric bookstore is something important to humanity that shouldn’t be lost.


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