Three for Thursday


My favorite place to be (outside of my home) is in a bookstore.  Like many avid readers, traveling to new places means visiting new bookstores.  The stores are the lens through which I see a new place and the way I learn about local authors. We’ll be in Nashville, Tennessee next week, and what I’m most looking forward to is checking out the local bookstores.  Well, today’s New York Times provided me with yet one more reminder that my favorite places are an endangered species.  The article appears at the front of “Business Day,” and as you might guess, the point of the story is that sales of e-books are rising and challenging traditional booksellers.

My son’s children may not recognize what we think of as a bookstore.  He or she may only know e-books.  I’m considering purchasing a Kindle soon and am excited about some of its features and the convenience of carrying multiple books without the heavy bookbag.  However, I felt sad when the Times article pointed out that fewer readers are “strolling aisles and persuing covers” in their local bookstore.   

So, in honor of the endangered bookstore, here is a series of three books from the Puffin Easy-to-Read series about a bookstore (that only sells ghost stories).  I may purchase copies now so that when my grandchildren ask about bookstores, I can show them what they were like.  The Bookstore series was written by Barbara Maitland.  The first two feature bright and cheery illustrations by Nadine Bernard Wescott, and the most recent entry features equally wonderful illustrations by David LaRochelle.

The Bookstore Ghost

The Bookstore Burglar

The Bookstore Valentine


3 thoughts on “Three for Thursday

  1. Shelley,
    I, too, read that NYT article with mixed feelings. I am writing this comment on my iPad, which I love (I read a wider variety of news and stories than before I had it), but I was recently musing about the disappearance of books. Specifically, I was thinking about the impression you get of a person when you walk into their house or office for the first time and glance at their bookshelf. You can tell so much about a new acquaintance or potential employer from the titles that sit there. I don’t mean the fake ones artfully placed by an interior designer, but the real ones that give you a hint about this new person’s intellectual personality, values, politics, obsessions. If a person’s library becomes all electronic, we’ll have to find another way to get that “bookshelf impression” of a person. -Liz

    • Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I play the “bookshelf game” on a regular basis, and you are right – maybe we will have to ask friends to turn over their reading device for a few minutes so we can get some conversation starters. Some of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve had began while looking at someone’s bookshelves. Your post also reminded me of being in a used bookstore a few years ago where I overhead an exchange between bookseller and customer about an order for books to “fill” this person’s new shelves. They wanted them in a particular color scheme! I looked at the books going into the customer’s box and felt sad about their new “home.”

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