I took a wonderful trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week to meet with local booksellers and sign stock in their stores. It was so uplifting to see people out shopping in each of the stores I visited. Despite the bad economy, people need books. As Buzz Blog readers know, books are a great way to escape into a different world for many hours or even days -- all for around the price of a movie ticket and popcorn.
I know it's convenient to hop online to buy books from a big web retailer these days,but the local brick and mortar stores really need business. Recently, a Seattle indie bookstore, Bailey Coy Books, announced that it would be closing at the end of November, and I know they won't be the only bookstore to do so.
For me, a bookstore is a special place. I could hang out in bookstores for hours. I mean, isn't it great to browse all the titles, read the first pages, and get advice from real life humans? And there's something about the smell of a bookstore - fresh ink and paper -- that always makes me smile.
I had a particularly fun time visiting Next Chapters Bookstore in Mequon, Wisconsin. It used to be a store owned by a small, independent chain called Harry Schwartz, but they went out of business. Luckily, the store manager bought the store and renamed it Next Chapters and they seemed to be doing well.
I was impressed by how friendly each of the booksellers I met was - from the folks at Barnes and Noble, to Fireside Books in the small town of West Bend. Booksellers love books and they love Young Adult fiction! It truly is the people in a store that makes a difference. They add what an online retailer never could - a personal connection and a love of story.
Tell me -- do you have a favorite bookstore? What do you love about the bookstore experience compared to the online one?
The Clearing ~ April 2010 HMH Graphia
Never Cry Werewolf ~ Sept 2009 HarperTeen