If you go into Waterstones and buy a book, you will probably come out with a plastic bag that reads ‘Words cannot do justice to the pleasures of a good bookshop. Ironically.’ Now, I really do like bookshops, but I think I need to put a word in for the libraries of this world as well.
In a library, there is far less pressure than a bookshop. You can get out any book that you want, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t read it or like it. You can sit on the floor or a bench and read through the entire book if you want, which is something that you certainly can’t do in a bookshop.
Our library has just installed some self-checkout machines like the ones in supermarkets but with books instead, and no bagging area. They are very useful, because it means I can get out whatever I want i.e. the next four books in that paranormal romance series, and no one need know.
And there is something that I don’t like about the newness of bookshops. I like new books, but sometimes I prefer for my book to have a story, to have travelled somewhere before it reached my eyes. I’ve always wanted to sneak a note into a book and write something to the person who reads it next but I’ve never had the courage.
How about you? Do you prefer bookshops, or libraries?