Thursday, May 21, 2009


In general, I will enjoy just about any bookstore I walk into.  Large chain stores, tiny independent book stores, really doesn't matter.  There is something special and enjoyable about each type of book store.  The big chains like Borders and Barnes and Noble are great for when I want to disappear.  I can just browse and wander around for a long time.  Also, there is something strangely comforting about walking into a familiar store in an unfamiliar city.  However, I probably don't buy many of my books from them.  

Smaller independent stores are fun when I want to find something different--when I don't even know what I am looking for.  I enjoy supporting local businesses and the unique features they offer.  Used book stores are similar, although the prices are generally lower.  I also enjoy imagining the previous lives the books have lived before they found a home on my shelves.  

I had a wonderful bookstore experience today in Austin at BookPeople.  I've been there once before, and can tell I will be there often when I move here.  It has the size, selection, and open space of a large store, but the charm and individuality of an independent store.  

What do you love about bookstores?  What types do you prefer?  I didn't even mention Amazon, or other online book-buying options, which do represent a large chunk of my book purchases.  Where do you get most of your reading material?


M.J. said...

There's a great independent bookstore/coffee shop in Baltimore called "Red Emma's." It's the kind of place where you could start a revolution. The aisles of books are labeled with such topics as "Social Theory," "Gay, Lesbian & Transgender," "Race Relations," and other tantalizing and often taboo subjects.

WhimsAndInconsistencies said...

This place sounds similar to Joseph Beth, which means it must be lovely and near perfect.