Today is Love Your Bookshop Day. In the age of Amazon and deliveries it’s a sad reality that bookshops are a dying breed, but we here at Ouroborus books still love them. They’re among our favourite places to go. We believe that they’ll always have a place in the world, even if there aren’t quite so many of them as once there were. Here are some of the reasons bookshops still hold a special place in our hearts.
This one’s a little bit self-serving but it’s true too. Local bookshops will often generously agree to stock local authors that may not get as much exposure in other ways. These are titles you won’t necessarily find on Amazon – they’re there of course, but they’re buried under the weight of other books from around the world. So show a little local pride, head down to your bookshop and see if there are any hidden talents in your hometown. If you happen to be based in Brisbane, you might even find us.
This one doesn’t happen so much in the bigger places like Dymocks but local bookshops have had to get clever to keep up. To that end they’ve developed a host of activities you can attend. From programs designed to get kids into reading, to interviews and signings with local authors. There’s even the occasional event for people who are looking to get into writing if you’re interested. Look up your local bookshop on Facebook and you can see what they have going on. You might find a good way to spend the afternoon.
Some of the best books I ever found, I picked up off a shelf. While you can browse on Amazon, taking the time to get out there and go through actual books can be really rewarding and allow you to emerge with some hidden gem that just managed to grab your attention. There are also recommendations from the booklovers who work there and the opportunity to check out some books you wouldn’t normally look at, just because you’re there. Amazon only shows you things you already knew you wanted, bookshops will have something new and interesting for you.
I know the idea of talking to people is frightening for us indoorsy types but some of the best connections I’ve made I’ve made in bookshops. Seeing people who like to read the same things you do, giving recommendations to someone you see looking at something you’ve already read or meeting at one of the aforementioned events are all good ways to get to know more people who like to read, which are one of our favourite kinds of people. Be daring and strike up a conversation with someone at your local bookshop, it might be rewarding.
Somewhere quiet to go away from the world is a valuable resource these days. Your average bookshop is a quiet, fairly cosy place out of the hustle and bustle of daily life where, by and large, they don’t mind you taking some time out to read your latest purchase without being bothered by day to day life. Some of them will even sell coffee and snacks while you do it.
We love our local bookshops and we think you will too. Give the old brick and mortar stores a chance and they might just surprise you with how nice an experience it can be.
You can follow Robert J Barlow on Facebook and find his books The Laughing Man and The Spinning Sister in our online bookstore.