There's nothing quite like wandering around a book shop. Yes you can easily buy books on line, often cheaper. You can get e-books, some of them for free. It's easier to keep your books on your ipad or kindle.
It's just not the same for me though. No matter how hard they try they can't replicate the book, the feel, the smell. Online shops will never be able to replicate the feeling of wandering through the bookshop. Looking, touching, holding, turning the pages, smelling the fresh paper and feeling the texture of the cover and pages.
This love of bookshops began a very long time for me. As a young child I loved books and was able to spend as much time as I wanted in a bookshop while my mother shopped for the family's groceries. I just roamed around and looked at the books. The pictures intrigued me. The way the books were made fascinated me.Working my way through the piles of books and the search for something I liked was great fun. I often came away with a book but that didn't always matter. It was the search, the experience that was so enjoyable.
This love of books continued throughout primary school.I remember the treat of reading fairy tales to younger children in their class. I loved those stories and I'm sure my enthusiasm came across to them as well.I remember watching their faces to make sure they were keeping up and were able to see the pictures.
As I got older I started to enjoy more serious books,more fact based books.I remember having a short stint in hospital and turning away comic books kindly offered by the nurse. I wanted real books. It wasn't long before a bundle of books arrived from the school library.
I found it quite difficult to enjoy novels,to appreciate fictions. It wasn't until much later that I began to realise that novels were often based on real life.They came from the experiences and ideas people had after all. Listening to authors talking about their writing in recent years I've enjoyed hearing about how they used novels to explore issues they faced in life. Novels were one way for them to safely write what they thought without fear of repercussions or legal threats.
I think it's books that have helped me to continue my lifelong love of learning. There's always something new in books, new ideas, new ways of thinking, new facts, new information that may be useful or just plain interesting.
Books are so much more than the words they contain. They provide comfort, a focus, a haven to escape from the world around us. They can take us away to another place. There's just so much to love about them.