The Internet, Amazon, e-books. Who needs a bookstore these days?
At least once a week people walk into The Regulator and tell us how surprised (and usually how pleased) they are to see that a shop like ours is still in business. But as the long time co-owner of Durham’s independent bookstore, I’m not all that surprised that bookstores like ours are still doing well. In part that’s because I am privileged to see, on a daily basis, the many ways that people need and appreciate a good bookstore. Here’s a look at a few of the folks that still seem to need a bookstore:
Who else needs a bookstore?
People who enjoy being part of a community of readers. People who like spending time in a place where everyone is there because they love reading and books. People who want to support their local community, economically and culturally, through their purchases. People who feel it might be important to disconnect, slow down and concentrate for a while in the midst of our distracted digital days.
To quote from a marvelous new book, “Slow Reading in a Hurried Age” by David Mikics: “Slowness and concentration are needed to learn to do anything well that is worth doing well, from fly-fishing to electrical engineering to playing the violin.”
In other words, if you really want to get down to it with most anything, you need to slow down and pay attention. That’s what reading a book is all about, and bookstores remain wonderful portals to that experience.
Tom Campbell is the co-owner of The Regulator Bookshop.