There are so many bookstores I have visited in my life and have enjoyed them all. When I was growing up Waldenbooks was my favorite haunt. I spent many a happy hour and blew most of my money there, well I loved the arcades back then too. I loved getting a gift certificate for Waldenbooks for Christmas. Book stores, new or used, were my home away from home. The rush of getting a new pile of books and deciding which to read. Things haven’t changed really, just the stores themselves.
Waldenbooks gave way to Border’s and then gave way to Barns and Noble. When I moved to the other side of the pond and lived in Ireland for a few years, small independent book shops were my new home away from home. I loved spending a wet and dreary Saturday afternoon perusing aisle after aisle spending hours on end deciding which new book to buy. As I became unemployed and money became tight used bookstores became a saving grace for my voracious reading appetite. Another move, another country and store names changed but my book buying habits becomes more strained. The only major bookstore in England very rarely had the titles I was looking for and I became disillusioned for the first time in my book buying lifetime. I turned more and more to Amazon to get the books that interested me. As time went by I missed looking through a bookstore. When Kindles came along I immediately bought one. I figured I was buying most of my books from Amazon and living in a small house with limited shelf space the Kindle became my go to way to read. Slowly as time went buy I bought less and less paper books. I found the cost of a DTB more expensive than the kindle versions and I couldn’t justify spending £10 for a paperback when I can get the same book on Kindle for half the price if not less.
Now I only buy a hardcover if it is a book I truly love, or I am going to a book signing. In saying that I have discovered a bookstore that I have fallen in love with, not with the same intensity of previous bookstores, but one that makes me happy. There are only three of these stores in the country, I have been to two of them. The reason why I love it, they sell various signed first editions of books. I now get signed copies, if they have them that is, of books I have enjoyed and would look nice on my self. I usually get to one location at least once a year, the prices aren’t cheap but finding a signed copy of a loved book is wonderful.
My buying habits have changed, the format I read has changed but my love for books hasn’t….. But I do miss spending a rainy Saturday perusing the aisle of a bookstore that grabs at my heart, and my wallet.