I recently went to a bookstore as the bookstore was near to Archie’s gallery. I was amazed there. Since I was introduced to Flipkart and sale of second-hand books, I have stopped going to a book store. The visit rekindled the relationship I used to share with the bookstore. Entering the bookstore and feeling the aroma of the books is something that cannot be described in words. Though, I did not get the book I wanted to buy, I flipped to other interesting titles and other sections. Yes, Flipkart also does give me the option of browsing. But somehow it does not give me the feeling I yearn for. I browse through titles, read summaries and review, and just move on. However, in bookstore, I hold the book in my hand. I feel the pages. This feeling is like holding the flowers or the painting that has captured the imagination of eye. Time files by while reading the words in those pages. With each new book, each new page, a new picture is vividly painted before my eyes. Flipkart, does not offer to read any page. Sometimes, I have just bought a book because some passages which I read just captured my heart.
How long can you sit before your laptop and browse through Flipkart without knowing which book to buy? I cannot. My eyes hurt bad. But I can sit long hours in book store or book cafe and enjoy browsing the books. Different books from different genres. I can browse as I want. I can jump straight from romance to biographies, from poetry to thrillers. This time I found out about Rubaiyat. Oh!. How much I fell in love with the different translations of his quatrains. Due to paucity of time and lack of money, I could not buy one. But I am going to buy the same tomorrow.
I saw a lot of people going through various book and finally choosing the books they want. Bookstores serves as a great place to observe people and their reading habits. If one is observant enough, one can also guess as to what is actually going in one’s mind and heart at that time while going through a book and buying the book. I saw a couple going to through different genres. They never intersected and they bought different books. The guy bought a thriller and the girl bought a romantic novel. At the purchase desk, they smiled at each other and were excited to see the books. Probably, they bought the books for each other and that was why they were so excited. Bookstores also serve a great place to meet someone and start a conversation. If stars are in right place, who knows one might end up meeting the person again. 🙂
Yes, there is a raising concern about the cost involved with such book stores and physical books. Some say, with growing interest in digital publishing, physical publishing is losing its charm. I disagree. Gifting a book to someone has its own charm and thrill. It shows how much the person knows and understands not just the likes of the other person but the other person himself. A collection of books illustrates how the person has evolved over a period time. For example, I was initially confined to M&B, Jeffery Archer, and Sidney Sheldon. Now I have moved on to John Grisham, Nicholas Spark, Khushwant Singh, and so on. I have also started reading some biographies. The various books illustrates different persons – their thinking, their imagination, their research, and most importantly, their way of expression of their thoughts. The magic of reading these thoughts in a bundle of pages in our hand cannot be matched by an e-page on a laptop. Inculcating a habit of reading definitely increases a person’s horizon.
However, the cost of infrastructure and other related costs for maintaining bookstore is definitely a concern in today’s circumstances. But few entrepreneur are coming with creative idea. Like provided coffees and snacks to patrons. Hopefully, the bookstore owners come up with more ideas. But more importantly, people like me should visit bookstore and at least to buy books online due to cheap discounts. This post for me will always be a reminder that I should visit a bookstore at least twice a week if only for immersing myself in the world of thoughts.
Photo source: Google