Did you know that from 28th June until 5th July 2014 it’s Independent Booksellers Week?
…You do now!
This is a campaign to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland. You can find more about the events, celebrations and activities happening over on the official website here.
I thought I would use this blog post to have a little ramble about why independent bookshops are so important and just why I love them so much.
As I’m sure you know I work in a library, so libraries will always be number one for me – but an independent bookshop is just as heavenly as a trip to the library, only perhaps for different reasons.
Sadly there aren’t many independent bookshops near to where I live (but there’s always holidays *manic laugh*) Whenever I’m out and about if I can spot a bookshop then the trip has been a success…just don’t expect to see me for the rest of the day.
I love the smell of these shops. I love the visual aspects of these shops. Most importantly, I love the atmosphere of these shops. The booksellers I have come across are enthusiastic, helpful and I always think they must be a little bit like me (I would happily work in a book shop! We have that in common already…) I find these shops calm, relaxing and such fun places to be as there is so, so much just waiting to be discovered.
Yes, Amazon is great, Tesco is great (who doesn’t like to slip a paperback into their trolley with the bread and milk?) But if you’re looking for a specific book – perhaps one that was released yonks ago, or one that’s not currently gracing the Bestsellers list then a bookshop will sort you out. Or maybe you don’t know what to read next or are stuck for something to read. Again, a bookshop will see to that, no sweat. Not only are the hard-working, highly knowledgable staff on board to give you answers and recommendations, but there’s nothing like just having a good old browse. You can’t browse the book shelves on Amazon (ok, you sort of can, but not in the same way…) You can pick up a book, flick through it, smell its pages (I don’t have a problem with smelling books…honest) just get the feel of it. If you like the look of a book there’s nothing to stop you picking it up and having a look. There’s always a diverse array to choose from – you’ll probably end up finding many a book that you didn’t even know existed.
Then there’s the displays. So much effort and planning must go into those displays, especially where children’s books are concerned. They’re bright, fun and always seem to do their job of grabbing the kids attention.
I’m always enticed by a good book display. The books might as well just have big stickers on them saying ‘READ ME NOW’
Bookshops are unique, important and *whisper* some even have comfy chairs and coffee machines!
I truly believe that (alongside libraries, of course) there is no better place to be other than a bookshop and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those hardworking booksellers who dedicate so much time, knowledge and enthusiasm to their work. You guys are the best, although my bank account doesn’t agree…
You might leave a bookshop with empty pockets but you will have an armful of books and a contented smile on your face.
Thank you for reading. Where’s your favourite independent bookshop? Let me know in the comments…