Books take us to places where only our minds can possibly go. Every flip through the pages exposes us to the wonders beyond the limits of our mortal existence and the physical world; they open our minds to the possibilities that we couldn’t even have imagined – had we not decided to read one. Reading books allows for the cultivation of our minds, as well as of our spirits. All thanks to the vast resource of books and the growing community of authors and writers, the world has become one ginormous library.
While the Internet has paved the way for books to be readily accessible to anyone globally, most book lovers still prefer buying their books from local bookstores instead of online shops. And they have many good reasons to do so. What are these reasons? And why should we visit our bookstores more than we should? Let’s find out.
1. NOTHING BEATS SENSORY EXPERIENCE
Personally, going to your local bookstore to buy books might be less entertaining for some, but for book lovers, it is everything. Nothing beats the sensory experience of walking through the narrow aisle of the bookstore—browsing through the shelves one by one, smelling the nostalgic tang of the paper, and flipping through the crisp pages of a book. Some people might see only a bunch of books piled together, but those piles are mountains worth scouring for treasure for book lovers.
2. DISCOVER AND SUPPORT INDIE AUTHORS
One of the sad realities about literature is that people often patronize only those who are already popular – and those who are less hyped and unheard of lay silent on the bookshelves, discovered only by a few. Frequenting bookstores help indie authors gain popularity and fandom that only come to celebrity writers. As book lovers, it is a heart-warming experience to simply discover an excellent book that is not-so-popular but surpasses our expectations.
3. OPPORTUNITY TO MEET NEW PEOPLE
Would it be romantic to meet someone with the same interest as yours, in an unlikely place that you both happen to enjoy? Visiting bookstores more often allows us to meet people from different walks of life. But even if less, if not at all romantic, some great friendships can start in a chance meeting at a bookshop. It is indeed a pleasurable experience having to meet someone who reads the same book as you, and an opportunity to know what others feel about a particular book, and the characters, perhaps. Who knows who you’ll bump into in your next visit to your beloved bookshop?
4. BECOME UPDATED
As book lovers, we can’t dare to miss the latest novel by our favorite author. Frequenting bookshops lets us be updated about the upcoming books and releases from our favorite indie authors. It also acquaints with new books by some other authors which could be perfect for our taste. Bookshops offer a vast range of book options that any book lover with an indiscriminate tongue can devour, at least metaphorically.
5. SUPPORT LOCAL ECONOMY
Visiting and buying from our bookstores regularly support not only local artists and authors but also boosts our economy. While online shops often highlight trending and popular books (most of them are foreign works, by the way), bookstores are especially keen on promoting indie books that may be less hyped in social media but are equally compelling, creative, and excellent reads.
6. BOOKSHOPS CAN BE THERAPEUTIC
To get some peace and quiet – this is a simple yet strong reason why people often go to their local bookstores. Yes, reading books is therapeutic, and at times life-changing. But so is going to bookshops to drive off anxiety and unhealthy thoughts. Frequenting bookstores that allow you to meet people, friends or strangers, gives us time off from our own heads. Some of us, most of the time when stuck at home, doing nothing or even reading something, our head becomes too full of thoughts we can barely handle. Thus, having a worthwhile stroll to your favorite place can ease this dread. The smell that books give off and the tactile sensation of the paper against our fingertips have a unique therapeutic effect, especially on bookworms like us.
7. BUILD A HABIT AND INSPIRE OTHERS
Lastly, visiting bookstores frequently allows you to build a positive habit. When you do something frequently, it becomes a habit later on. Reading is itself an excellent hobby, but going to places where you can explore more of that hobby takes it to the next level. Also, frequently going to bookstores can inspire others to do the same, especially if they see the positive improvements that the habit does to you. If you have kids, you can take them with you so that they, too, can fall in love with books and reading books.