Why We Need Bookstores (Or, How to Avoid the Destruction of All Humanity by Supporting Your Local Bookstore)
Perhaps you're looking at the title thinking, Life is not dependent on bookstores.
I respectfully beg to differ. And maybe after you read this article, you'll hopefully catch my crazy bookstore contagion and infect others. Hey, a gal can dream, can't she?
Half of my life has been spent working in independently-owned bookstores and I have enjoyed every minute of it. And it's not just being around books either; it's the people who come to shop, to gossip, to share their views on everything from shoelaces to Thai food. Somehow, some way, the most interesting assortment of thinkers and dreamers find their way through the welcoming doorway of a bookstore. I have learned so much merely mingling with the most eclectic collection of people I could ever hope to meet.
The Purpose of a Bookstore
Bookstores do not exist simply to sell books. I mean, grocery stores can sell books. You can download novels and other eBooks on Amazon or other online sites. But the difference is that intangible, magical "something" that separates realities and encourages imagination. In a bookstore, it seems that anything is possible. Wars can be won and princesses can be saved - you can be anyone or anything.
Most people (well, the ones I would want for friends anyway) light up at the mention of a bookstore, with all of the hunger and excitement of searching for pirate's treasure. A trip to the bookstore is something to look forward to. A reward and much needed respite that recharges the soul. A place to rekindle the thinking and creativity that takes a beating with everyday life.
How to Support Your Local Bookstores
Now, I could go on and on about the economic ramifications of not supporting local businesses, but I'll leave that for other writers. Suffice it to say that you are supporting yourself and your community when you support a bookstore.
Even if you aren't much of a book-lover, chances are that you know and love someone who is. Support a bookstore for them.
Just a small showing of support can make a huge difference. Take a peek at this incredible story of an Oregon bookstore that was on the verge of closing and was saved with an original idea and one little Tweet. Maybe it'll spur you on to think of your own ways to support your local bookstores. You'll need them someday.