Last week, I took my children to a bookstore and was happy to see it so busy. During that visit, I rediscovered the thrill of the physical bookstore.
There were long lines at the checkout counter, happy kids looking at books and toys, and exciting energy buzzing within the aisles.
Over the years, though, I’ve seen so many people skip physical bookstores. Instead, they’d save a few bucks and order online. How sad.
It’s especially sad with the pandemic forcing most bookstores to close for months. However, with most stores reopened now—at least the places that survived COVID-19—I’m keen to see how many readers return to physical bookstores.
While my family was perusing the aisles, I realized that bookstores are integral to every community. Bookstores give us a safe and quiet place to look at books, read, and enjoy the company of other book lovers.
While in line to purchase another stack of books, I thought about the enormous role bookstores have played in my family’s life. My children have grown up being surrounded by books—no surprise since I work for a publishing company. When my children were younger, I would indulge in a coffee and a grown-up book while they listened to story time.
As my children have outgrown books, we filled many of our community’s Little Free Libraries. If you don’t know what it is, a Little Free Library is a small, outside bookcase, often shaped like a schoolhouse on a pole, that anyone can use to borrow or lend books freely. We know not everyone is so lucky to buy books up front, and my family is blessed to be able to give forward the gift of reading.
Beneath every cover lies the work of one of thousands of authors. Each author had an inspiration, an idea, a compulsion to write. It fascinates me how an author’s words end up in a book that then excites, inspires, or motivates a stranger.
For all of you writing and looking to publish your masterpiece soon, I can’t wait to see it the next time I’m shopping for books. So keep writing and keep being inspired. You’ve got readers out there like me waiting for you!
Now that I shared my bookstore experience, I’ll turn it to you: What do you like about bookstores? What are you looking forward to doing or seeing the next time you shop for books?
You are not alone. ♣︎