Shopping for books online can be convenient. You can find anything you would ever want, new or used, and have it delivered to your house with the click of a button. But just because something is convenient doesn’t mean it’s better. When we shop for books online, we don’t support local businesses unless we order directly from their site, and we miss out on so many awesome things. Here are five reasons you should take yourself on a bookstore date this weekend.
1. You Miss Spontaneous Purchases
Because we usually search for specific titles when we’re buying books online, and Amazon suggests books for you based on other books you’ve purchased, the odds that we’ll come across something we’ve never heard of and decide to buy it based on a cool cover, the first few pages, or a great jacket blurb significantly decrease. Part of the joy of book buying is finding a book you didn’t even know you needed to read. When our books are suggested by an algorithm, our TBR lists become less diverse.
2. You Miss Recommendations From The Bookstore Owner And Employees
Some of the best books I’ve ever read have been recommended by bookstore owners and employees. Independent booksellers are usually deeply knowledgeable about literature and everything they have in stock, so if you give them a list of a few books you’ve loved, they’ll usually be able to suggest your next favorite book.
3. You Miss Author Events
Bookstores frequently host author and student readings. Check out the bulletin board or ask an employee what’s coming up this month the next time you stop in. In major cities you might even find half a dozen bookstore readings a night.
4. You Miss Cool Books From Local Independent Presses
Most of the books we own are published by the Big Five (Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Random House), but some amazing books come out of indie presses. Ask a local bookstore if they have any small press titles they would recommend. You may even find a book by a local press or author.
5. You Miss The Experience Of Leaving The House, Grabbing A Cup Of Coffee On Your Way, And Strolling Through Shelves Of Books
Sure, you’ll save a few bucks if you buy books online. But what about the experience of going to the bookstore? You don’t get to talk to anyone, see anyone, run your fingers over the spines of books, smell the used titles, or take your purchase to the park to read with a cup of coffee after you’re done shopping. What’s the fun in a couple of clicks on Amazon?
What’s your favorite bookstore? Let us know in the comments!
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Featured image via Eureka Booksellers