Book Riot’s charming ‘Reading Lives’ recently series posed this question: what does your ideal bookstore look like? Author Susie Rodarme enumerated her desired features: spacious design, large selection of small press books, comfortable seating, nighttime hours, recommendations sprinkled all over the store…
It had me thinking back to my book-loving childhood, where I often dreamed about this very question. And my answer always came down to one thing: more books, more books, more books! And…I hate to turn this into one of those tiresome ‘us vs them’ print vs ebook debates, but…well, my dream has at last been realized. The ebook store IS my perfect bookstore! And it’s probably Rodarme’s perfect bookstore too.
It’s got the small press books; the nighttime hours, the recommendations (I find Amazon’s recommendations engine great fun to click through when I am in browsing mode!) I can sit wherever I want to sit—even outside! It’s got free books, too—beat that, bricks-and-mortar store!
The only thing it hasn’t got? The social aspect of getting out of the house. I am on summer break as of yesterday, and I have lots of little projects I am working on this year—a course, some writing projects and so on. And the Beloved’s position has always been that he doesn’t really care if I work, per se, in the summer—I have signed a contract for September already, and let’s face it, teaching can be a kind of seasonal gig—but he doesn’t want me sitting home by myself all day either.
So I will be packing up my laptop and taking my work out with me, and some of that ‘out’ will be at bookstore coffee shops. They have a better ambience than just plain old coffee shops, and they ARE fun to browse. But when it comes to actually buying the books for reading, I am an e-girl all the way. I have never cared about the smell of books and all that business. It’s always been about the content to me. And online stores can’t be beat for that!