I love books. At this very moment, I am typing in a room that has several bookshelves (and makeshift ones) of books. I would love to have new bookshelves to better organize and display them but in the meantime, the piles of books in front of other books will have to do. For now.
Before I packed up my books to move back to my hometown at the end of 2012, I set many bags of books out for people to take. After moving here, I culled through my collection again and donated a few bags of books to a local used bookstore. You would think I have more room on my shelves but I have added to my collection in the time I've lived here. So much so, that I believe I ought to give away some books again sometime soon.
That is one thing that has changed over the years, in my adult years of loving books and deciding to own them, to box them up for every move, to have them sorted into categories selectively on the shelves. I have become more certain of my tastes. From looking at my books, you can tell that I love poetry. You can see my interest in published journals and letters. The shelf of books for aspiring writers, near the dictionaries and thesaurus. The Tolkien and Harry Potter shelves. The alice in wonderland shelf with not only books but themed items like a teapot, a bobble head, a lunch box, too. There is the religious shelf at the moment alongside so much Shakespeare. Classic novels. Activism. To be read piles. Books based on movies and movies based on books. The outdated reference books that I can't seem to let go of, the kind of books you'd look up information in before the days of the internet, of wikipedia, of google search.
I consider my extensive zine collection as part of my library of books, worthy of it's own shelves and out of the milk crates once I have the space, along with the small press published books published by zinesters and distros with independent printing presses. May I even consider my collection of diaries and journals, my thirty-something books from my own life, as part of my book collection? I think I do, much as I consider the letters I've received from my pen pal years part of this collection, too.
My book collection has become my library. I value them and appreciate the coziness of their company. In more recent years, I have found it easier to give them away but I'm also finding it harder not to buy more. I feel that I should slow down a bit with buying them so that I can catch up with my reading!
I love bookstores. I love videos on youtube about books (search for "booktube" and "bookshelf tour" and "book reviews" and "TBR books" and an exciting world of book lovers awaits!) and I get the same feeling about it that I do when I have the chance to browse another book lover's shelves.
It's not just about having my own books though. I love libraries! Even though libraries had to adapt, I'm so happy there are still books to be found there, that those places exist. & how awesome are those do-it-yourself lending community lending libraries popping up in neighborhoods in some cities & far away places where people put a box on a pole and circulate books through it with strangers? I also love art made from books and books made into art. Anything to do with words and books and pages and covers! I'm in love with books.
Do I think bookstores are dying out? Yes and no. I think we've lost a lot of them due to the expense of renting retail space and the ease in which one can purchase books online (and I can't entirely diss the concept of buying books online because I'm living in a smaller city at the moment with limited choices - books lovers are going to get their fix somehow!) but I honestly believe that bookshops will remain, even if but a few, and that there will be a revival, a comeback with them someday. Look at vinyl - there are actually new record shops opening up. If vinyl can make a comeback (for some of us it never went away) than books are very likely to stick around. Someone, somewhere, will always want to open a bookstore so long as there are lovers of books.
Yes, I realize one can read books on screens and that many people prefer that, for reasons of cost and saving space, or just a matter of choice. This is okay. This does not threaten the existence of tangible books. For a book lover, nothing beats the smell of a book, the feel of the pages, the way books can feel like old friends.
Book collections are full of stories and the ones they tell are not simply within the books themselves. They speak of the book lover, too - written in fragments on each shelf, a selected line of prose or poem, part of a life story from each well-read and favourite book.
* Book Selfies
* A Beginner's Guide to BookTube
* Google Search Images: "bookshelves" & "bookstores"
* 33 Reasons Why You're Addicted To Books
* 10 Reasons Why Traditional Books Are Still Awesome
* The Joy of Books
This post was written for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
Amber Dawn Pullin can't walk by a bookstore without being sucked in.