This morning on Facebook I received a beautiful link from a poet friend affixing gorgeous photos of bookstores all over the world, in places like Portugal and China. These were mostly large, some as big as airports, it seems, and featured period or space station modern decor. The Chinese one was evidently inspired by Harry Potter!
I will affix the link here in case you didn't get a chance to look at these places:
Is it just in the U.S. that bookstores are declining in favor of online stores and e-texts? Although I far prefer reading hard copy books, with their own particular smell and heft, at the same time, our new house is too small and full of windows to hold more bookshelves. We do not have space for many of the books we already own. I probably have no choice but to switch to e-texts and keep using the library to read new books.
Now that I have a book coming out and am looking for places to do a reading, I find the lack of bookstores particularly vexing. There are practically no stores carrying new books left, except Barnes and Noble, of course. In L.A. there are some, but it is too far away and too difficult to get to for us in Orange County to frequent them.
I take hope from these photographs. Perhaps people in the U.S. will someday demand places like this? After all, movie theaters were once palaces, with handpainted ceilings and murals, luxurious curtains, etc. Then they became practically closets, tiny boxes in twenty-plexes where owners could squeeze in as many movies and make as much money as possible. Now though, luxury is again making its appearance--haute cuisine, living room type furniture, etc, and the prices to go along with this. Not that I am attending movies at these places, but the interest is apparently there, so why couldn't this happen to bookstores too?