Thursday, April 12, 2012
For the love of a good book
But ... I still love a book - and more than that I love hunting around in bookshops. I popped into Blackwells on Oxford Road yesterday. Maybe they just present academic books and the kinds of fiction and general books that academics like in a slightly different way - but it was very absorbing. I found a load of books I would buy, but rather fear they would just join a pile I struggle to get through (see above).
But this is all heading one way, I fear. I could only find a couple of bookshops in downtown San Francisco when I was there last month. All the biggies like Barnes & Noble and Borders? Gone. They have them in malls, but you can see why it's happened. The two books by American authors I had my eye on - I ended up buying them at Heathrow Airport!
But there's this piece in the Atlantic which suggests people are reading more - just not buying books in stores. It would be a crying shame and we must do all we can to use bookshops - I think though they need a new and different purpose - meeting spaces that emphasise the social side of learning and discovery. I notice Waterstones in Manchester have some excellent events coming soon - and Blackwells had one tonight. They won't replace book sales, but they might stimulate more interest in the product and provide a means to acquire more knowledge.