Okay, that may sound a little harsh. Online book shopping is extremely handy when there are books you’re looking to buy on a rainy, indoors kind of day. It also allows you to preorder books to be delivered straight to your door on publication day, and in special cases, order a book signed by the author. Of course, there is the convenience factor of it all, but don’t you ever want to take the more mentally stimulating route and browse the shelves with absolutely no distractions?
1. The book smell
As if your obsession with smelling books wasn’t already weird enough to your friends, impress them with the term ‘bibliosmia,’ meaning the effect of smelling a good book. Bibliophiles love nothing more than the instant high of sticking their nose between some pages because there is no other smell like it. You may have your sided opinions on Barnes and Noble vs. independent local shops, but it’s hard to resist that instant mocha-infused book pages smell as you enter the B&N/Starbucks fusion.
2. Immediately reading your book upon purchasing
If you’re anything like me, then the time between buying a new book and getting home to my reading couch with a designated reading snack is a long, antsy trip. What’s even worse is waiting for shipping and handling to hopefully deliver your book mail by the expected delivery date. So how about none of the above! Buy your book, walk to the nearest quiet coffee shop, and dive right in.
3. Discovering books that aren’t “related to your search”
It’s easy to get comfortable in your safety reading zone. You know what genres you prefer, and your ghosts of books’ past can set a predetermined path for what you’ll look for next. This is especially enforced by Amazon providing a list of all other books related to your search, a.k.a stories with a similar plot but different dialogue. Expand your horizons! Take a walk on the wild side through historical nonfiction, classic literature, YA fiction, or any other genre you’re not familiar with.
4. Meeting other book lovers
It can be tricky starting a conversation with a stranger, especially in New England where southern hospitality isn’t exactly a strong suit. Don’t worry; chances are anyone taking their time browsing a bookstore isn’t there against their will. Asking about the book they’re holding, or throwing out your best literary pun can be the beginning of a beautiful bookworm friendship.
5. Stepping away from technology
You don’t need me to reiterate that you should put the phone away and start soaking up some social skills. There have been enough studies and warnings against spending too much one on one time with a screen. But those are statistics, data, things that can turn your brain off. My style of convincing you to spend an afternoon in a bookstore is solely based on internal serenity. I don’t have statistics or focus groups to prove anything, and my influence can only go as far as a stat in an article. All I can do is promise that if you leave the phone at home to go discover the infinite possible worlds inside a bookstore, you won’t regret it.