I love books. I love to hold them, smell them. If I could I would taste them. (sometimes when pondering a book it is even held close to my mouth.) Is there any more heavenly smell than a room full of books? (except maybe fresh brewed coffee on a cold winter morning). One of my greatest memories is walking morning after morning into the Bodleian Library in Oxford while doing my PhD, smelling the amazing books.
So with that full disclosure of my bibliomania, you can understand my at times violent disagreement with people who say that printed books are a thing of the past. Yes, I know that e-readers are more numerous now, but what a comforting thing to still see plenty of people in airports and other places still reading a physical book! (and not just oldie-goldies either).
This last week my chortle of glee was complete as we visited the first physical bookstore in the world started by Amazon! Yes, you read that right! The giant company started 20 years ago and based in Seattle, Washington that in many ways helped fuel the online book revolution, has decided to start an actual bookstore. With actual books. With 5,500 square feet and books displayed facing out rather than only spines showing, it is a great testament to the future of the printed book. It is a gamble by Amazon, but based in University Village near the University of Washington in Seattle, this store at least should not lack for patrons.
The store could be larger and there could be more books (though the selection was not bad considering the space restrictions). But there was joy for me in standing under the Amazon Books sign and knowing this could be the first of many more. A spokesperson for the company said “We hope this will not be our only one, but we’ll see.” In the photo I’m holding a Starbucks cup. The first one in the world was in Seattle and now is all over the world. May it be with printed book stores, whether Amazon or otherwise!
To read more about the opening of this store: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-opens-first-bricks-and-mortar-bookstore-at-u-village/