As this holiday long weekend ends with a lot of eating and shopping, I realized the one place where very few people go shopping is a book store. As I was returning from the mall, I decided to make a quick trip to the bookstore for 2 minutes and instead was immersed in that store for quite over 40 minutes. Not that I bought anything at all but browsing thru the store captured my attention.
A bookstore is a lot of things for a lot of people but for me, it serves me as a report card. It represents, the status of what I have done from my last visit and my mind begins to classify them as “Done”, “Yet to Do”, “Could have done” among other things. Lets put it into perspective, like as I go thru like fiction section looking for a particular book, thoughts come to my mind as “I am yet to finish the first book of that series” or “I should have bought that book and read it quite a while ago” or just mark a book setting a goal for myself, “If I finish reading x, y and z books I will come and get you”
But a bookstore also represents inspirations for things that provokes my mind. Things that challenges, or things that needs to be planned soon enough. It does not mean, that I need to buy a book, but if you are looking at the International Travel section – A thought comes to mind that I can probably travel there or if you see a travel book and you realize that you have been just procrastinating a visit to that place.
A bookstore is not just a storehouse of knowledge, but sometimes, I feel it helps me setup goals. And I do not mean that when I see “10 ways of writing a resume”, I would like to thing about a job switch, but something more acheivable like reading a finance title helps you wonder, probably I can do that if I read it a little bit. Or, looking at a “Digital Photography” book reminds you, how long its been since I have take a photograph or posted one online and a thought to post one soon enough.
But more than that, a bookstore is like a treasure hunt of collectibles. Books that you have read by borrowing and you would like to own a good copy as yours, those are the treasures you are hunting in a bookstore. Not to mention, journals, planners, writing pads and more.
As I finish to return back, I am more concerned about the bookstore being an endangered species in the digital world. With a plethora of eReaders and digital eBooks and Audio-Books, does a bookstore containing these physical books stand a chance. I say this because today I subscribed to a digital version of the magazine since its better to read digitally then to wonder what do I do with the magazine once I read it. As I pass the Microsoft Store and the Apple Store, I realize that these stores have opened up so that users can touch and feel the product before they commit to buying them. It doesnt matter that these stores sell most of their stuff online but it allows users to feel it first hand and talk to knowledgeable people about it. So does a bookstore, helps us browse thru the whole book if necessary, touch the knowledge that it contains before deciding on a purchase. I dont feel the online format does the same justice.
And finally, a fact to ponder on:
A written ‘fact’ is considered innately more true than spoken gossip or hearsay. But physical documents have no greater claim to accuracy than an anecdote from an actual eyewitness.