Monday, October 13, 2014

Books Are My Bag: A Challenge

October 11th was Books are my Bag day: a nationwide campaign to celebrate book shops.

Yet, if I am honest, I don't really shop in book shops.  Yes, I will browse the book section of charity shops (and inevitably buy a couple) but when I want to buy a book the first place I look is online.  I have become so accustomed to being dependent on a certain website for books that it wouldn't occur to me to go to a bookshop first. 

I haven't always been like this, though.  I grew up with several book shops around me and every Saturday I would go and treat myself to a new one.  I would spend ages, knowing I only had my little pocket money to spend, debating which book to choose.  One week it all got too much and I ended up persuading my dad to increase my pocket money to allow me to buy two a week - one just wasn't enough anymore.  Yet, slowly these book shops closed, I became more and more dependent on sites like Amazon, and I forgot about the art of browsing book shops (for hours on end...)  Now, the nearest book shops to me are supermarkets full of commerical fiction and celebrity autobiographies.

I have gotten so used to depending on Amazon for my books that I have forgotten the art of browsing in a good book shop.  It never even occurred to me when I would get frustrated at not being able to find something suitable on Amazon to get up, leave the house, and find a book shop.  And yes, as a book blogger, I am feeling very ashamed right now.  But I don't think I am alone in this.  I don't think I am the only person who doesn't even really know where to begin on Amazon's vast database; it really just doesn't compare to having the books in front of you and being able to consult a friendly faced expert when you're stuck.

A much more successful #BAMB attempt last year

So, this is my challenge.  I am going to attempt to incorporate more bookshops into my life.  Which means going out of my way to find them; probably spending more once I have found one; and avoiding a certain website I have mentioned several times already, so won't again.  I will be writing monthly feature posts on the latest book shop I have found; so that by the next Books are my Bag day I can safely say I have discovered at least twelve new bookshops! AND I would also like to invite you all to join me!

Wherever you are in the world, go go go and visit those book stores, and report back!  I would love to have some guest posts from you guys about your favourite book shops and eventually, together, we can build a little community of bookshop gems and hopefully encourage anyone thinking of opening a book shop but scared that they'll be unsuccessful.  I will add a tab to the top of the page with info about how you can get involved - in the mean time, get out there and start looking for amazing bookshops!



Bora said...

This is such a good idea. I love spending hours in a bookshop and getting lost within the shelves, and discovering new books through the recommendations of the staff - I have this one guy in my shop who, I swear, has read every book on the shelf and knows everything about! Would love to find other bookshops around though, so this is a perfect idea! said...

For me online shops are convenient, but I can't browse Amazon and it hasn't got the magic that a good bookshop has. And you can't talk to knowledgeable staff about your interests.

Julie Sims said...

I love this challenge because I love the celebration of printed books. While I like my Kindle for a lot of situations, nothing is better than paper and browsing tangible, bound books. I hope you find some great new shops and I hope at least a few are used bookstores, because those are my very favorite. I love looking at what other people have read and passed on.


Rosie said...

I love physical copies and I try to buy from shops as much as I can but it's so easy to shop online.

Last week I went to Dublin and they have so many book shops and I loved going around them and looking at everything. You can't do that online and that's a huge downside.

Caroline said...

I have so much love for your challenge to support bookstores. For me, I hardly ever novels on amazon, just textbooks which can be prohibitively expensive otherwise. The joy I feel browsing in an actual bookshop though can't be replaced by amazon and my laptop.

Rosie - Dublin has some brilliant independent book retailers and I count myself as lucky to live near them.

How-and-ever I won't be joining in on the bookshop challenge because a) I already buy most of my books from independent shops and b) because I'm trying out a different challenge supporting my local libraries and only reading library books until December 1st. You can read more about my own challenge Here

Best of luck with your challenge and I look forward to reading about how you get on.

Anne @ booksbakingandblogging said...

What a great idea! I buy most of my books online as well, but that mostly has to do with not being able to find what I want in Dutch bookstores. Their sections of English books are usually rather limited, unfortunately! But I'll try to first see if my local bookstores have them before looking online :)

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