December 18th, 2010

cardinal in snow

Tis the season (to visit a bookstore)

I am thinking of changing the name of this blog to Weekend Update, because lately that seems to be the only time in the week when I actually post anything. -)

One reason I am so busy is because Christmas is coming. This time of year people are shopping a lot, and I am no exception. Much but not all of my shopping is done online. After a while, you lose patience with crowds, and just want to click a button and buy the gift without ever leaving home. But some shopping experiences are better than others, and one place it's always nice to visit is a bookstore.

If you follow this blog at all, you are now snickering something like, “Fine talk for the Queen of eBooks!” And it's true I do love my Kindle partly because it means I don't have to go to the bookstore to buy a book. But I do think bookstores are wonderful places, and I believe (and hope) that in the coming digital revolution, smaller bookstores, in particular, will have a better shot at survival than the big chain stores. In a way, ebooks level the playing field. What the chain store does well (carry a huge number of books), the online ebook store does even better. What the small bookstore does well (provide a cozy atmosphere with a knowledgeable book-loving staff), the online store doesn't do at all. In addition, secondhand bookstores can sell books even cheaper than ebooks, and thus compete on price.

In that spirit, I'd like to point you to a couple of posts I've seen recently. The first is a cool article on ten bookstores (some selling new books, some used books) that all used to be something else. Once was a church, another a funeral home. Yet another was a manure vault! At the other extreme, another was a castle. The pictures are worth seeing.

The second post is about bookstore cats. Yet another thing ebooks can't do is provide access with a sociable feline. You should check that one out, too. There are no ugly cats, and some of these cats have interesting names.

So, if you like print books, for yourself or as gifts, now is the time to go visit one. And just in case I don't post again until after Christmas, a happy holiday to you and yours. And to all a good night!

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