Bookstores and the Books that Live There…

 by Robin Byrd

Bookstores are becoming sparse; books are becoming electronic.  I wonder how to reconcile my love of browsing with the lack of things to browse.  If it’s not there, they will order it for you, they say with a smile ever so clueless to the fact that it’s the walking through the aisles searching the shelves for treasure that brings joy.  I can order it myself and not have to give up the getting mail part in the process – what can I say, I like getting mail…

I rarely come out of a bookstore without a book — this past weekend, I did — too much open space, too much of a lack of that library appeal without the constraints of utter and complete silence.  The space caught me off guard; it was bright from the lack of shelves and heavy from the lack of books.  I felt grieved in my spirit and had to leave the store.  Time is running out and I know one day I will have to go to a library if I want to browse.  My favorite spot is going…going…almost gone…  Better renew my library card.  Bookstores could possibly become plug-in shops to download e-books and my relaxation tool will be obsolete. My days of browsing for hours in my favorite store are numbered but I’m not going out without a fight and a few more books.  You never know what you’ll find in a bookstore.

Lucky for me I have more than one bookstore on my radar.  I found a book in Samuel French (my other favorite spot) called “Hoosiers in Hollywood” by David L. Smith.  This book is filled with over 600 pages of information on Indiana artists dating back to the silent era – a nice bit of history, fun, and encouragement.  When I found the book, I was in the middle of a thought about the Midwest and how it is underrepresented in the arts.  Guess I was wrong.

The really nice thing about books is being able to hold on to them and catching them on sale – a benefit of browsing.  The best part about books is they always inspire the writer in me to write…


  • By Nancy Beverly, January 23, 2014 @ 7:12 am

    Hoosiers in Hollywood? Are WE in it? We should be! I miss my neighborhood bookstores, too…

  • By Robin Byrd, January 23, 2014 @ 9:44 am

    Perhaps we can make the revised edition. I’m tempted to look him up and introduce myself… 🙂

  • By Andie Bottrell, January 26, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

    I love book stores and am also saddened by this electronic movement. I know that it makes moving an entire collection of books a lot easier and traveling with books easier and is more cost effective. But when I fell in love with books, I fell not just for the content, but the whole show from start to finish- the cover art, the feel of it, the weight, the smell- oh, god the smell! The ability to dog-ear and write in the margins and highlight- the living with them stacked around me like my family- the thought that when I die someday someone will look in one of my favorite books and read my thoughts in the dog-eared margins and feel connected to me, if only in the vaguest sense, if only for a moment- and maybe feel less alone themselves. I like buying books and I’ll never stop!

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