Thursday, 3 November 2016

Why we will always, ALWAYS need libraries and bookshops - a ReadItTorial

My wife and I have always (half) joked about what we'd do if, by some miracle of happenstance, we could just up sticks, move to the seaside and start up a small shop. I think she'd rather like to run one of those cool artisan jewellery stores that sells mystic moonstones, or a bakeshop that sold amazing cakes (which she'd be more than capable of baking, she's a bit of a whizz). 

Me, without a doubt, I'd run a second hand bookstore. 

We need bookstores, and indeed as the headline says, we need libraries because in the modern internet age you still cannot possibly "catch 'em all" when it comes to finding out about brilliant books that might have slid stealthily past your radar. 

This weekend, we found ourselves 'in town' in the evening waiting for an event to start. With time to kill and no desire to go and pay for expensive coffee or muddy hot chocolate, we found ourselves in the only other store open at that time - a book shop.

Obviously we don't really need any excuse to go in and browse and that's the first reason why book shops and libraries score highly over the internet. Yes you can browse from your browser but it's a cold and detached experience where you're usually fairly limited in what you can filter through Amazon. You still cannot beat the physical pleasure of picking up a title, flicking through the first few pages and then deciding it's for you. 

We were in there - largely browsing and making christmas lists of the books we'd love to give and receive this year. Even though we're extremely lucky to see a lot of books through the blog, there were still hundreds in the store that we'd never seen nor heard of. I spent a lot of time oohing and ahhing in the Graphic Novel section (Sydney Padua's awesome Lovelace and Babbage graphic novel was a highlight as were the collected Lumberjanes books that I really really NEED RIGHT NOW!). 

Mum (rather oddly for her) picked up a book about art and artists that digs beneath the works themselves, describing the inspiration and the thought processes behind some of the world's most famous artworks. 

Little Miss spied a glorious Pixar art challenge book where you basically get to draw all sorts of Pixar-inspired goodies based on recent movies. Mostly the sort of books we love are exactly the sort of books you'd wish people would go to bookstores for and it's quite something often seeing a book 'in the flesh' so to speak, that looks so much better than you'd imagined from a mere scrappy thumbnail on a website. 

Libraries too will always be places to champion. Our library fulfils a similar requirement for catching up on books we'd never normally see, but it also fulfils a requirement to get folk involved in books and reading where incomes are limited, and the huge stacks of books you can take home for your little ones will give them a brilliant start on the road to their own love of books. 

I guess this ReadItTorial isn't telling you anything that you don't already know. You're on a book blog for children so it's a relatively safe bet that you're here because you're a reader and love books as much as we do. If you would love to champion your favourite bookshop or library, please PLEASE do drop a comment (and a link if possible) below. It'd be great to find out about more awesome book stores and libraries that are your 'go-tos' when you want to learn what's new, what's hot and what's brilliant in books.