The first time I stepped into a bookstore, it felt like an absolute paradise! It is an experience that is forever etched in my memory. Rows and rows of neatly stacked books, arranged in the order of their genres, authors, and latest arrivals; the musty scent of paper; bright, colorful stationery stocked at random; hardcovers and paperbacks stacked together, calling out to me and entreating me to adventures unknown; words can’t describe how it felt to be enclosed in a bookish cave!
It was truly mesmerizing! Since that day, bookshops have been my heaven on earth. Growing up, I never skipped a chance to visit the local bookstore. In fact, there was always a reason to be in one. It didn’t matter what the occasion was; books were the ideal choice of gifting and the perfect treat for a hungry mind. This was the case for most millennials, who spent a good part of their lives without the hi-tech gadgets paralyzing the world today.
However, in this day and age, where lives are too busily led, checking off personal goals and work accomplishments, and driven by technology-led luxuries, which makes everything, including books more accessible through e-readers and online selling services, many bookstores are struggling to keep themselves from folding. It can’t be denied; the benefits of sourcing a book online are far too many, not having to battle the never-ending onslaught of traffic being one of them. But even with all the comforts and convenience that comes with it, no amount of technology can ever make up for the charm of a bookstore. That’s the thing about paradise. It leaves a little bit of itself inside you!
So what makes bookstores more than just a repository of all things books? Let’s find out!
“There is nothing like the smell of a bookstore. If you ask me, it’s actually a combination of smells: part library, part new book, and part expectation for what you might find.” – Kathryn Fitzmaurice, Author of Destiny, Rewritten
The internet may bring your favorite read to you in just the click of a button, but have you experienced the sheer joy of being surrounded by books from every side, randomly picking a book from a shelf, inhaling its fresh smell, casually flicking through its pages, reading the blurb, all the while having a mini conversation in your head if this book is for you? To be lost in books for hours is truly something. It is a real treat for all your senses and truly one that should not be missed! If you want to amplify the experience, try visiting a bookstore on a rainy day. Nothing beats the feeling of being huddled among books against the soothing sounds of rain pouring outside. What about the muddy puddles, you say? Trust me. It’s worth it!
Mini Cultural Hub
“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are, simply put, the best of places.” ― Jen Campbell, author of The Bookshop Book
What better way to experience many cultures at once than a trip to the bookstore? Because it houses all kinds of books across languages and borders, it literally lays the world at your fingertips. One minute you are browsing an English classic, and the next, flipping through a murder mystery set in Sweden or exploring the Japanese art of meditation, not before settling on the rags to riches story of an entrepreneur in India. Bookstores give you space to just be, allowing you to explore their vast ocean of titles, triggering your imagination and letting it run wild. It is a universal truth widely acknowledged that no person ever leaves a bookstore without feeling as if they have just returned from a unique adventure wherein they get the best of all worlds!
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.” ― Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods
Believe it or not, bookstores are a great place to make new friends. Especially in this pandemic-ridden existence when many of us are living so far from our loved ones, bookstores offer much-needed relief from the pangs of loneliness eating us away. A simple, ‘Hey! That’s a great book!’ have resulted in passionate booklovers bonding at random over for their love for good books.
In addition, bookstores are hosts to a plethora of events ranging from ‘Author Meet and Greet,’ book signings, interactive literary quiz sessions, book readings, and so much more, giving readers of all ages an opportunity to connect over their favorite books, authors and genres. Bookstores these days are coming up with fun, innovative ideas to engage their readers. Want to inculcate the love for books in your children? Sign them up for a book-making session at your local bookstore! Trust me, nothing brings people together like books.
“So often, a visit to the bookshop has cheered me, and reminded me that there are good things in the world.” ― Vincent Van Gogh
- Are you feeling stressed? Head to the bookstore.
- Are you feeling sad? Head to the bookstore.
- Are you feeling anxious? Head to the bookstore.
- Are you feeling annoyed? Head to the bookstore.
- Are you feeling dull? Head to the bookstore.
You get the drift. A bookstore is the key to all problems in life! I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, no one has ever stepped out of a bookstore without a smile on their face.
Bookstore All The Way!
There is simply no other way to put it; there are no alternatives to the bookstore experience! Every book tells a story, and there’s no better way to feel its magic than the bookstore. So, the next time, when you are scouting for the next book to read, do me a favor; please put your phone away and head to the bookstore. In those bricks and mortar spaces, you will find, as I did many years ago, a heaven on earth!
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