At the same time that this blog was created, we created a bookstagram as well. The effect of starting the two was simple. The pressure to have more books to photograph, and the newest releases to read, was on. Besides for the obvious discussion we could have about our change in habits, as Chana and I went from bookstore to bookstore, I began to think about how unique each of stores I’ve visited was.
Before getting involved in the online bookish world, I mainly got my books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. While I’ve gotten a book or two from Book Depository and Book Outlet, those weren’t my go-tos. In the past 2 months since we’ve started this blog (2 month anniversary was on Tuesday. How crazy is that?) we’ve gone to Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, the Amazon Bookstore in Manhattan, Barrington Books and Lovecraft Art and Sciences in Rhode Island, and Brookline Booksmith in Massachusetts. Now obviously some of these visits were only possible because we were in the area, but I’ve really enjoyed branching out and visiting new bookstores.
I’ve found it really interesting to discover the unique parts each bookstore contains. Each one has its own charm. And lest you think that my attraction to visiting bookstores is a new one, think again. When I went on vacation to Seattle last year, one of my favorite things that my friend and I did was go to bookstores we stumbled upon while walking places. Books just have a warm, calming environment for me. So any place that houses books – bookstores, libraries – always feel like a home to me.
I think that if anyone asked me to rate the bookstores I’ve visited in terms of favorites it might be a harder task than even choosing my favorite book. Sure, I get a lot of books from Amazon, but that’s merely because of how convenient (and cheap) it is. So unless we’re talking about the physical Amazon Bookstore, I don’t consider Amazon a bookstore because it’s online. The physical presence and atmosphere of a shop is what I love. It’s why visiting a H. P. Lovecraft dedicated bookstore in Rhode Island was such fun, even though I’ve never read his work and the store was pretty small. But the decor and ambience of that store had a lot of charm that made it a great visit.
And I don’t even have a hard and fast rule for what I consider a good bookstore. Small and cozy? Love that. Big and filled with lots of books. Yes, please! I think it just depends on how the store is set up and how unique it is. All the bookstores I’ve loved have made it very clear that they’re a place for readers, and that’s what makes it home.
What’s your take on bookstores? Do you have a favorite? Any I MUST visit?