I'm as guilty as the next person of buying books online, especially second hand books. They are cheap, places like the Book Depository offer free postage, and there is a great range of titles.
But I also feel cheated, not monetarily but of that feeling of serendipity you get when you walk into a bookshop and a book jumps out at you and says, "Take me, I'm yours. Take me home to bed with you."
From Tim's Bookshop Facebook
I mean what relationship could ever stack up against curling up at the end of the day with a great book?
I'm also a bit sorry that my income often dictates buying online, because I know that such buying behaviour, as well as eBooks, is causing the slow strangulation of our local bookshops. But many clever book shop owners are staying alive by finding new ways to attract customers.
One of those ways is an Australian first, where you get to vote for your favourite bookshop, then all voters go into the draw for a
500 shopping trip to their favourite bookshop.
It is part of the festivities for National Book Shop Day
. It is really about standing up for your local book shop and being counted.
I've been giving it some thought. When I buy presents (which usually means new books) I usually go to Tim's Books
in Maling Road because they offer great advice on titles whether it be for kids who struggle to read, through to adults with a passion for literature.
But for atmosphere and a chat I still go to the Merchant of Fairness
in Balwyn which has recently moved down near the Balwyn cinema. I go there because they do have the kind of books that say "pick me, pick me, and pick me." And with their prices (the books are second hand), I can take home a pile of new mates to prop on the bedside table.
I also love Kay Craddocks Antiquarian Booksellers
in the city because it is like a little London Dickensian book shop hidden below pavement level. There are lots of collectables and the beautiful smell of books. If you could bottle that smell it would be worth a fortune.
So where is your favourite local bookshop ?
And don't forget to vote vote here
It doesn't hurt to remind ourselves of our local book shops because even though it is tempting to shop online, if we lost our book shops the world would be a much sadder place.
Competition opens Saturday 13th July and closes 5pm, 5th August.
From Kay Craddocks Bookseller's Facebook