‘A Magical Land’, that’s what comes to my mind when I think of bookstores- one of my favorites places in the entire world. For years now, I have look forward to the ‘Book Shopping Day’. Bookstores have always made me feel welcome and the moment I enter a bookstore the magic begins. I feel I have entered a labyrinth with rows and rows of bookshelves stacked neatly with a multitude of books. As I take the first step into the labyrinth, I become aware of being surrounded by countless stories; each with its own set of lovely characters all waiting to make my acquaintance. I become sensitive to the presence of myriad universes hidden inside every book, all waiting to be explored by an avid reader. I feel happy to be in the company of entities which can transport me to a new universe as soon as I flip open their pages. Browsing through the shelves admiring the book jackets, feeling the touch of paper, and peeping in the books to know what’s in store for me further heightens my joy. I do indeed love book shopping at a bookstore.
I think I can spend hours inside a bookstore (actually, I have), with not a worry to wear me out. But, of late, an alarming thing has caught my attention. I have noticed that in the past year I haven’t visited bookstores as often as I did previously. Over the past year, I have been book shopping more and more not in a bookstore, but, at a virtual place (where there is no magic) called the Internet. There! I have said it! Yes, of late, I have been shopping for books online a lot and I feel terrible about it. I feel terrible because it sounds like I have no time for one of my favorite places in the world anymore. I feel terrible because I am book shopping not in the company of lovely books, but, in front of a computer screen, in a virtual world. I am saddened by my own behavior, but, here is the thing- Book shopping online hasn’t given me even an ounce of the joy I have obtained when buying books at a book store. Shopping for books online has robbed me of the pristine pleasure I used to gain when I visited bookstores. So, here is my verdict- I prefer bookstores over online book shopping.
Do you love bookstores yet have been drifting towards online stores like me? Or do you think online shopping is the better choice? Where do you prefer to buy books: Bookstores or Online?