Saturday, March 14, 2009

Great Bookstores I Have Known

Although I am a great fan of all things digital, I still enjoy browsing a good bookstore. There’s nothing like wandering the aisles, noting an interesting cover or title, and picking up a book and leafing through it. Some people talk about Facebook being addictive, but I can testify that spending time in a bookstore may be even more addictive!

I could even give you a list of great bookstores I have found. Some may no longer exist. I remember discovering a bookstore in Wake Forest, North Carolina, just off the campus of Southeastern Seminary. This former supermarket had tables holding thousands of books. Whenever I was in the area, I would spend a couple of hours just walking through and browsing. One of my favorites was BookStar in Nashville. The owners had taken an old movie theater and converted it into a bookstore, but they had kept the lobby cards, décor, and screen in place. Unfortunately, it is now closed.

I enjoy browsing online bookstores, and I am grateful that more publishers are making it possible to take a look at the table of contents and even an excerpt from an interesting book online. It’s also nice that lets you download a sample chapter to your Kindle of a digital book you are considering purchasing. I love my Kindle and the ability to get a new book in minutes. But . . . I still like the tactile experience of picking up and leafing through a book. I also like being able to mark a book (one that I own, of course) and make notes in the margins.

I was discussing this recently with a friend who is also a bibliophile and wondering about the future of printed books. He pointed out that there is a new generation who are growing up on digital media who will not have the same attachment to the printed page that many of us do. He is probably right, but I hope it doesn’t happen too soon.

And now, I’d better get back to that book I am reading on my Kindle.


runamoks said...

Just surfing through and found your site. I could LIVE in a bookstore. I love them. No one could ever replace the gentle crack of a book's spine, the textured feel of paper, the warm sweet aroma upon opening a book that invites a reader inside. One day I'll get a Kindle, but sadly, it won't be the same. --Cheryl

David C. George said...

Glad to know you are a Kindle user too. I share your love for the paper and ink, and I love the stores, too, especially the used book stores. I just discovered The Captain's Shelf in Ashville, NC, last week, and recommend it.