The answer is yes. While e-commerce is taking over the online world, it hasn’t been able to replace physical books completely. In fact, the e-book industry is shrinking, while the market for printed books is growing.
A visit to a bookstore is an escape from the world and into the life of the mind. It is an invitation to engage with people who are passionate about ideas and who, through books, can take us around the globe, across continents and eras, into science fiction and poetry, education books, deep into history and far ahead into the future. A bookstore can be a place of comfort, a place that offers respite from a busy day or one that beckons with promise of adventure. Books are at the heart of how we know who we are and what we can become.
Trying to find a good book on Amazon has its limits when you don’t know what you’re looking for and may take hours of surfing through countless titles. Besides, there are some books that are just meant to be held in your hand and read on paper.
There’s also the advantage of having a local bookstore. It can encourage book clubs, which bring people together to discuss interesting topics and learn more about each other’s opinions. Books are also great conversation starters and ice breakers at parties and social gatherings.
So if you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and visit your local bookstore! You may find something you were never expecting or rediscover a childhood classic that will become an integral part of your life once again!
In the face of competition from online retailers, independent booksellers are discovering innovative ways to survive. A bookstore should be part of every neighbourhood. We need them to survive. In fact, there is no substitute for a great bookstore.
We all have our favourite bookshops – they are our homes away from home. The best bookshops are warm and inviting and have personality; they know their customers and often their customers feel they belong to the shop as much as the other way round. They provide a sense of ritual and community – we visit them on special occasions, like the launch of a new book or just when we feel like it. They can bring authors and readers together in interesting and unexpected ways – I was recently at a dinner party hosted by my local bookshop where three of us had come because we had all been inspired by an author event that had taken place there shortly before.
There’s no doubt that being able to buy books online is convenient, but a physical space where you can browse, choose and buy is essential for so many reasons: it’s where we discover books we might not otherwise have thought about reading, it’s how we learn about new authors and new ideas, it’s where publishers build their readerships and sell their books.