October 11th was Books are my Bag day: a nationwide campaign to celebrate book shops.
Yet, if I am honest, I don't really shop in book shops. Yes, I will browse the book section of charity shops (and inevitably buy a couple) but when I want to buy a book the first place I look is online. I have become so accustomed to being dependent on a certain website for books that it wouldn't occur to me to go to a bookshop first.
I haven't always been like this, though. I grew up with several book shops around me and every Saturday I would go and treat myself to a new one. I would spend ages, knowing I only had my little pocket money to spend, debating which book to choose. One week it all got too much and I ended up persuading my dad to increase my pocket money to allow me to buy two a week - one just wasn't enough anymore. Yet, slowly these book shops closed, I became more and more dependent on sites like Amazon, and I forgot about the art of browsing book shops (for hours on end...) Now, the nearest book shops to me are supermarkets full of commerical fiction and celebrity autobiographies.
I have gotten so used to depending on Amazon for my books that I have forgotten the art of browsing in a good book shop. It never even occurred to me when I would get frustrated at not being able to find something suitable on Amazon to get up, leave the house, and find a book shop. And yes, as a book blogger, I am feeling very ashamed right now. But I don't think I am alone in this. I don't think I am the only person who doesn't even really know where to begin on Amazon's vast database; it really just doesn't compare to having the books in front of you and being able to consult a friendly faced expert when you're stuck.
|A much more successful #BAMB attempt last year|
So, this is my challenge. I am going to attempt to incorporate more bookshops into my life. Which means going out of my way to find them; probably spending more once I have found one; and avoiding a certain website I have mentioned several times already, so won't again. I will be writing monthly feature posts on the latest book shop I have found; so that by the next Books are my Bag day I can safely say I have discovered at least twelve new bookshops! AND I would also like to invite you all to join me!
Wherever you are in the world, go go go and visit those book stores, and report back! I would love to have some guest posts from you guys about your favourite book shops and eventually, together, we can build a little community of bookshop gems and hopefully encourage anyone thinking of opening a book shop but scared that they'll be unsuccessful. I will add a tab to the top of the page with info about how you can get involved - in the mean time, get out there and start looking for amazing bookshops!