Buying Books

2 Jan

Hushed silence, tentative hands, unsaid promise, cozy quilt, warm tea, the crowded solitude of reading a book.

Bookstores can mean so much when you go to choose your new lover for the next two weeks and hopefully a fond memory for a life time.

For me where I buy my books is as important as the book.

Lots of people rave about this bookstore or that bookstore which has a great collection or books which are littered all across that it is impossible to select a book and so and so forth.

Books are anything but products, they are bought but are definitely not commercial.

The best bookstore in the world is a library. Not only can you feel the respect for the books over there but the silence that pervades over is an integral to the reverence you must feel for the books and the pleasure you feel looking at people quietly sitting, delving, imbibing, travelling, creating, the universe hidden in those little drops of black and white ink.

An ideal bookstore must create the ambience of a library. It must make buying a silent, personal, respectful selection process. As soon as bookstores neglect this basic tenet they lose the respect of the book lover.

Business will not come from the greed of selling but participating in the joy of selection. A reader who finds his new lover and rather than scream at the top of his voice rushes with a deep breath of satisfaction quietly quickly towards the payment counter should mean more to this business.

“Lord! when you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night – there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.” ~Christopher Morley

It is so sad to find bookstores selling toys to movie CDs to other rubbish along with the books.

Choose your book well but choose your bookstore better.

Remember a bookstore that chooses to sell only books is not only displaying tremendous courage by limiting itself to a shrinking business & respect for the books but also showing respect for you as a reader (& not as a buyer).


3 Responses to “Buying Books”

  1. featherbone January 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    somehow haven’t had great experiences in libraries, but agree with the general direction. there’s a second hand bookstore accross from work, and i go there for my dose of peace. aah.

  2. Red January 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm #

  3. Gauri Gharpure January 4, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    i find crosswords grt, coz it offers peaceful browsing and very comfortable seats, u can actually sit and read the book for an hour or so.. the cd, stationary and coffee corner is there, which i dont really mind, though!

    but i buy only those books from stores which i cant find on the streets, or read in the library for in general books are exhorbitantly priced. there r these sellers on the lakdi-pul in Pune. i got maugham, shaw and chekhov from there for peanuts, and also some vintage, yellowed sweet smelling books u can never manage to buy today! i find such book-hunting sprees much better…

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