Book Niche

Posted Fri, 01/20/12

Doesn't this look like a wonderful bookstore to get lost in?

Books-on-the-Common in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Books-on-the-Common in Ridgefield, Connecticut was cited in the January 20th issue of Shelf Awareness, among others. The article (Connecticut Indies: Surviving & Thriving) was inspired by a Connecticut Post profile:

People are beginning to understand that if they shop local, the money they spend goes back into the community. The community theme was echoed by Ellen Burns, owner of Books on the Common, Ridgefield. She said her husband calls the shop "the neighborhood bar without the booze. It's an important part of the community. It's very social here."

I simply love bookstores, but I'm not one of those women who thrive on shopping. Actually, I'm just the opposite. I detest shopping in almost all forms, especially when it involves clothes, shoes and other frilly ventures. However, set me loose in a store that sells computers or books and I can lose myself for hours. The preference is a bit dichotomous in this day and age, yet it's true.

That being said, I would never dream of cursing technology as advances in the book-reading experience move forward. I appreciate a local book store as much as anyone else, but I also enjoy carrying multiple titles in a hand-held device without having to lug a heavy load.

As the digital book phenomenon continues to explode, some more than others stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the reality of it. E-books are not going away, which is a good thing. I shudder to think of returning to the "old days." No thanks.

As a writer, I also applaud e-book technology and everything related to it. Who wants to go backward to a place where we used old-fashioned typewriters or had to make a trip to the local library in order to undertake research? Not me. Who wants to accept 15% in royalties as opposed to 40% or 70%, which is the end result when cutting the publisher's cost of printing and binding? Not me.

I cannot even fathom creating a manuscript on a manual typewriter. I'm a mediocre typist at best, preferring to do most of my writing by longhand. If I had to sit down and type my notes on an old typewriter, I would have given up long ago. My thumbs get in the way, which might account for the typos that glare at me during the editing process.

Reading and writing have been twin passions for most of my life. To me, it's useless to have one without the other. I certainly don't want to see the demise of local bookstores, but will never regret modern advances in book technology. It's my bread and butter, after all.

*Photo of Books-on-the-Common (C) Carol Mark.

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Tags: Books & Reading; Writing