Do you have a favorite bookstore? I have one, a used bookstore here in town. When I first moved here it was the second thing I found, after the grocery store. It’s moved three times since, each time getting bigger and when I went today to find some back listed books of an author I wanted to read, it spurred some interesting thoughts.
I am as enthusiastic a reader as I am a writer, sometimes more so. When I go into the bookstore and take my time, I sometimes get overwhelmed at the talent that is out there. There are so many writers that have given us interesting stories that we remember. Even if we don’t remember them for a long time, even if the books aren’t “keepers”, a few hours’ enjoyment is priceless when you’re stressed from your ordinary life.
But as a writer, when I look at all of the fantastic books out there, sometimes it makes me question myself. Yep, I’m admitting what most writers feel when they think about publishing and writing new and fresh material. Can I find something new to say about love and romance? Is there any other way to have a man and woman meet, fall in love and almost lose it all before regaining everything? It’s a constant challenge, though when I’m in the midst of writing my stories, I get so involved in the plot and characters that I don’t think of the possibility that it may be in a pile of other books on someone’s night table eventually. I love writing so I’ll keep writing my stories, hoping that I make a connection with readers and give them the hours’ enjoyment that I so love as a reader myself. And I’ll deal with my neuroses daily, as well. Chocolate is a very good remedy, I hear.
When I was in the bookstore, I also thought about how far both of us, the store and I, have come over the dozen or so years I’ve shopped there. When I first moved to town, I knew I wanted to be a published writer, that I wanted someone besides me to read my stories. I also wanted someday to find one of my books on the shelves of the local library and the local used bookstore. I love it when someone wants to share a book with someone else, instead of hiding it away in a shelf, forgotten, or worse, tossing it in the trash.
The store itself grew over the years, adding or expanding their CD and DVD sections, adding more video game opportunities and then growing again. Now, they’ve begun buying LPs, go figure. But when I go to shop there, I’m still looking for my favorite authors’ backlists, exploring new writers, or looking for a book that I’ve read in the past and got an urge to revisit. I haven’t found one of my books on the shelves yet, though I’m published several times over now. Not sure how it will feel when I do find one.
What about you? Do you have a favorite bookshop or store? How has it changed over the years? How have you?