Blog on the Bus pt 23 (don’t embrace the future too much)

Morning fellow bus traveller. The ‘X4’ is packed on this cold Southampton morning. I wanted to share a rather heart-warming experience I had on Saturday. I visited…

…a bookstore…

…a real one.

Not a digital ‘Internet-based’ bookshelf but a genuine bricks and mortar, dusty and wobbly book case, bona fide bookshop. In this age of computer wizardry where any buffoon can create an ‘e-book’ it was a real joy to walk amongst paper and ink. To be honest, it had been years since I had actually gone to a real book shop to look for something in particular.

Ultimately, I didn’t find what I was after, but it brought back memories of a teenage-me at my local independent bookstore, browsing through spines, discovering new talent.

These days most of us are guilty of only choosing from the limited titles that publishing houses stick on the shelves of the local supermarket (the 3 for 2 culture). Or we look at what iTunes or Amazon have logged in a Top-100 category using their latest algorithm. But how many of us go into a dedicated book shop and look for something different?

It probably seems paradoxical for a “brilliant” (I’m quoting myself here) indie author who is only published thanks to Amazon to be championing the good old-fashioned bookshop but believe me, if you go and stand in one, you’ll know what I mean.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a call to arms. I am not a quiet voice in the wilderness proposing that we burn our kindles in protestation at the end of the common page. There is no point in swimming against the tide (particularly as I am profiting rather nicely from it). I am, however, challenging you not to forget the lowly bookstore you remember from your youth and to remind the readers of the future that they should not allow anyone to dictate what they should read. We all have free will and if, like me, you read for pleasure, then don’t be afraid to buck the trend.

Meanwhile, Integration remains £free to download on kindle until Tuesday 05 February, so don’t miss out.

Oh, here is my stop so I must alight. Until we meet again, happy reading.

Stephen

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