Thursday, 10 December 2009

Online shopping vs Bookshops

I might be a bit behind the times, but I have yet to venture into the world of online shopping. Many of my friends and family swear by it for the great deals they get on books, but for me, getting my books over the internet holds little appeal. Great deals or not, nothing beats actually going into a good bookshop, taking my time to browse the titles, examine the books and flick through the pages. It’s one of the most relaxing ways I can think of to spend a lazy afternoon; buying books online negates this enjoyment.
It’s sad to see bookshops losing business and having to close down, as seen in the recent demise of Borders in the UK and Ireland, but I got some consolation regarding the state of our bookshops when reading about Lutyens & Rubinstein, an independent bookshop recently opened in London, which has been experiencing huge success in its opening months.
Having not had opportunity to be in London myself, I went vicariously through the reviews, which were all raving and portentous. I hope that their success will inspire the opening of similar independent bookshops that make the experience of browsing and buying books truly enjoyable.
Having said all that, I do see the many benefits of online book shopping. Here in Maverick House we get orders from all over the world for some of our titles; it’s a great thing to be able to get books that are not available in your own country. Our newest book, Mango Rains, which is being sent to the printers today, is being released in Thailand initially, and will then have a summer release in the UK. Having just finished proofreading it, I think it’s a great read that would appeal to many readers outside of Thailand. With online shopping, it will be available for anyone who wants it.
I hope that in the future, both e-books and physical books, virtual shops and actual shops, will co-exist successfully, and that the day will never come when bookshops are and thing of the past and tangible books become redundant.


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