I remember being elementary school pupil and going to our city library. It was in the eighties, the time before internet, let alone tablets, smartphones and ebook readers… the time without Google search engine, when you had to look for books in reference cabinets first, and then walk the endless halls of book cabinets to fetch the ones you are looking for.
Bliss of that moment – having the book you need in your hands and turning the pages with – more often than not – history written on them, personal notes and references, random thoughts and reminiscences. Each book has a life of its own – every passionate reader will agree – and, while they are bulky indeed, we have to confess there is something about the scent of a book opened and the sense of paper pages within your curious fingers.
I am guilty as charged – of having these bulky items in such volume that I need a library for them which has increased my house price and my mortgage monthly pay. Today, although I have more books on my tablet reader which fits into my mini purse, I consider the investment in extra room – library – definitely worthwhile.
I believe the reasoning is the same with the bookstores, still vivid and fighting the advancements in technology, offering something above the books and above the plain act of reading – bookstores remain a shelter for everyone seeking a touch of culture, history, insight and peace. And, if you are creative enough, they are fancy and inviting, on verge of becoming the ‘it’- places and, with that, saved from oblivion.
Bob Eckstein, cartoonist, writer, illustrator and snowman expert, in his series ‘Bookstores of New York’ and ‘The Endangered Bookstores of New York’ depicts this atmosphere of culture, style and sophisticated and hip calm. Each has a story to tell, one more special than the other.
Running a bookstore is not a lucrative business, but a mission to conquer oblivion and share the uniqueness and charm of such special places as bookstores are.
Don’t you agree?