Bookstores aren’t just a layover in someone’s life. They aren’t on an errand list when someone is going about their day. With Amazon taking so much of the business away from bookstores, the one thing a bookstore can offer that you can’t find anywhere else in such a centralized location, is community. Bookstores are a place for people to gather. A place for discussion about literature, about marketing books, about how the book selling process works and how it is changes–as it is changing with such speed.
While it’s easy to focus the sales aspect of books, it’s also important to remember the quiet and calm bookstores provide. People come to bookstores for similar reasons they go to a library. To pick out a couple books, stack them on a table and rest in an armchair or on a couch in a quiet, dusty corner and dive into the pages of potential love affairs.
Bookstores also bring a certain amount of discussion to the choices of literature. Be it nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, bookstores are a place to discuss our favorite stories, reason through our favorite philosophies, glean more from simple lines pack with so much meaning as poetry is want to do. A bookstore is like one big book club, with everyone reading different books and then sharing ideas of why they did or didn’t like each volume they’ve poured over. And this all circles back around to community. A customer of a bookstore isn’t there because they know exactly what they want. They are there to discover, to listen for recommendations.
Bookstores are also a platform for authors, publishers, editors, and other gears in the publishing world. That book sellers are just the front lines, can’t be forgotten. Bookstores are a stage for those who aren’t usually in direct contact with customers. They are the link between industry and populace and provide a chance for writers to see and meet the people who spend so much time pondering their craft, examining their characters, and debating their ideas.
See, a bookstore is much more than a bookseller. It is an institution that provides a connection between an industry that often times feels and looks far away. Bookstore are the great bridge. They are the high stage for aspiring writers and best selling authors. They are discussions waiting to happen, and a quiet place to curl up and lose on oneself in the pages in a book. They are for book clubs and homebodies, bookworms and the lost and confused. For those who have a destination in mind, and for others who just want to enjoy the journey of finding that perfect book. With so much revolving around bookstores, with so many thoughts, so much relying on the continued institution bookstores have become, it’s difficult not to admire these spaces, to want to be part of those communities that bring free speech, free thought, and such art to the lives of the people who are stepping into a bookstore, whether in a hurry or not, but arrived within this space to pursue a journey