On Bookshops (National Bookshop Day edition)


I posted this one a while back but, given that today is National Bookshop Day, I thought it only right to repost it. Tiger and I celebrated NBD by going to Fullers Bookshop in Launnie and, as always, Miss Tiger was treated like royalty. She picked out the very shiniest book in the shop and we have read it a good ten times since coming home.

Bookshops are special. Booksellers are special people. I am very grateful that they exist, and that, as Clive at Fullers remarked today, Tiger has found a second home in one.

Thank you, booksellers of Australia. You are the best kind of people.

I hope Fullers Bookshop won't mind me pilfering this image. They shouldn't. Because I do so with love.
I hope Fullers Bookshop won’t mind me pilfering this image. They shouldn’t. Because I do so with love.

I don’t get much of a chance to read paper books these days.

All right, that’s clearly a lie. I spend entire days reading paper books. Tiger and I share a love of the written word, and can lose whole hours lost in The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She loves having her favourites read again and again, and I love reading to her.

But as for “quiet” (i.e. Not out loud to Tiger), reading? These days, I don’t do anywhere close to as much of it as I used to. And, when I do, it’s often in eBook format, so I can read on my phone, while in bed with a sleeping Tiger.

Say what you want about eBooks, they’ve been an absolute Godsend to me during this first year of parenthood.

But, still, I love me a paper book. And I love me almost as much as the reading of a paper book, the searching for it. I love bookshops. The physical ones. I have never bought a paper book from an online retailer (though I have bought many eBooks, obviously). Don’t get me wrong: I think online bookshops provide a fantastic service – particularly to those who don’t have a local bookshop to go to. Online retailers have allowed my books to be read by people in remote regions, and those living overseas and, for that, I am eternally grateful. They help the sick and incapacitated to buy books, too, and I am very glad of that.

But, for me, there is nothing like a bookshop and, given the choice, I’ll hoof it to a physical shop rather than go online. Partly, this is because I believe in shopping locally, and in supporting your local indie retailer. We are lucky to still have a few of those left here in Tassie – I want them to stay!

Also, for me, book shopping is a treasure hunt; a kind of lucky serendipitous adventure. Some of my very favourite books have been discovered completely by accident during a lazy browse. Or, just as often, I’ve asked a bookseller for their recommendation. And, booksellers being the unique, genius breed of people they are (I should know, I used to be one), they’ve come up with the exact, perfect thing.

My husband will argue with me, but I am still yet to be convinced that some algorithm can come even close to the skills of a trained bookshop worker. They’re a magnificent species.

I want there to always be booksellers. i never want the bookshop to die. I already take Tiger to bookshops, and I want to be able to continue to do so, throughout her life.

Bookshops are my home. Book-lovers are my people. Books are my world. I want them to be Tiger’s world, too.

So, even though it’s mostly eBooks for me right now, I’m still going to bookshops as often as I can, for Tiger, and for gifts for those I love.

So my daughter can have the supreme pleasure of a book treasure-hunt, when she is my age.