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Sunday, 14 September 2008

I love the smell of bookstores

I walked into the Books Etc the other day and what was I met with? Empty shelves. I know we are in the age of Amazon, but can't society support bookstores any more? Yea I buy off the net, but for me you can't replace the kinaesthetic experience of browsing books. I think it's the smell of books, being able to take books off the shelf, have a quick read, and know you bought just the book you wanted. And having enjoyed the whole experience.

When I lived in L.A. I was within a 10 mile radius there were at least 4 major bookstores plus 3 or more used bookstores. I used to spend my Saturdays browsing used and new books, heaven.

At the Uni I work at there is NO book store. Can you believe that, a campus of 15,000+ students and no book store. Blasphemy if you ask me. They used to have a tiny Waterstones, It had the books for the courses which was good, but beyond that the selection of fiction took up less shelf space than I have in my living room. And the library does not carry enough books for the courses I teach.

Now apparently Waterstones, a big book store in the UK has bought Books etc. Andy they will eventually put a Waterstones where the Books Etc was. But why can't a city like Uxbridge, a city with a University, support 2 bookstores? I would have another place to hang out on the weekend and it would keep my out of trouble (trouble for me is buying pc games).

Don't get the wrong idea about me. I am not a book worm or brainiac. I teach because of my experience in games, 3D and video. I am dyslexic and really did not get into enjoying reading until later (ask any dyslexic about not being able to see the forest for the trees, as far as reading goes). But I do love reading. It takes me a week to read book my wife reads in a day. But I still love reading and I really enjoy bookstores. I like fiction, like Anne Rice, JK Rowling, Patricia Cornwell, Chris Ryan, Andy Mcnab, Tom Clancy etc etc. And of course cool books about tech.

Yes everything is available online, and I don't have a problem buying off Amazon. I have had to buy my last 4 books off of Amazon. I have done so for a long time.. And I could go into central London(1 hour trip, but then I'd be in London). But nothing can replace the smell of a bookstore and the enjoyable experience therein.