Tonight, Patrick had a reading from Enough at Subtext, a new bookstore that just opened last week underneath Nina's on Selby and Western. It's got a charming, funky vibe, and a lot of great titles facing out and encouraging me to read them. The space is one that was, until recently, the home of Common Good Books, which has now moved a little farther down at Grand and Snelling; I ordered a book recently and picked it up there and lingered for quite some time, enjoying the booky comfort of the space. And, if you know us, you know that our our own home is jam-packed with books, loosely organized by theme but not so much so that you can't go in search of one volume and get distracted by another one.
I feel, however, guiltily sad. Pretty much everything I read right now I download to my Kindle. I've even found myself downloading books I have in traditional form to the Kindle, because then they are very light and transportable and easy to read. I like throwing it in my purse so that I can read if I have a spare minute, and having the app on my phone for those truly unexpected times. Having the e-reader means I read a lot more than I would have, and a lot more diversity as well.
But bookstores have always been my de facto gathering place. I love the sense of community they give, and the way they encourage conversation — "Have you read this? What do you think of this?" A bookstore, to me, is the ultimate retail experience.
I don't know how to meld those two things, and I wish I did.