About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reflections

This year in West Michigan, winter arrived late for its appointed rounds. Miraculously, gloriously, wonderfully late. My apologies to the many skiers and snowmobilers. But the opportunity to go for a sunny walk in mid January on dry pavement with temperatures in the 50's is to me something to be savored, not lamented. Nonetheless, winter has finally arrived bringing with it the usual slippery roads and school closings. With my traveling thus limited, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on the first six months of my blogging experience.

Aside from the fact that I have completely and utterly delighted in the hunt for bookshops and relished each visit, a couple of things stand out in my mind. First is the discovery that there are likely many other individuals such as myself with an acute case of book lust, to borrow a term from Nancy Pearl. I arrived at this conclusion based on the large number of bookstores that I have thus far found to be not just alive and well, but thriving. With the seeming ascendancy of the ebook trade, this overall health of bookstores is the exact opposite of what I had expected to find. I can only conclude that book lust is more widespread than I had thought, perhaps even epidemic. There is after all, nothing quite like the look, feel, and smell of a real book.

I have made another observation, this one not so surprising.  Every bookstore is unique in its own way with peculiar qualities of its own that make it special. It may be the smallest, or the largest, or the one with the fabulous kids section. It may be located in a strikingly gorgeous setting. It may inhabit a historic building or an unexpected structure like a log cabin or a train car. It may stand boldly in close proximity to a large chain bookstore or in a converted house in a remote tourist town. It may have the best cafe, the most interesting author visits, or a great book club. It may be hosted by bookstore cats or bookstore dogs. But generally the most unique and gratifying thing I have found about bookstores is their owners, people with truly incurable book lust who attract others like myself with their gregarious nature and their passion for the printed word. Whenever I have had the opportunity to meet these shop owners, it has proven to be the best part of the adventure.

So keep doing what you do, bookstore owners. I look forward to many more delightful discoveries. Stay tuned.

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