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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Campaign for Real Books



Join NOW

To save real books
AND stop the libraries and bookshops closing.
With your membership you get discount in bookshops, too.

I have an abiding childhood memory of going around the seven bookshops in Bath on a Saturday morning looking for my books, knowing that if you didn't find it in the first shop, you'd find it somewhere else. Bliss!

Then Waterstones arrived and pretty much killed off all its competitors, except for the one I ended up working in, Whiteman's in the Orange Grove. Now Supermarkets and Online sources are killing off the rest.

My hubby even wrote a letter to the paper about the final demise of Whiteman's:

'I see from the prominent 'To Let' sign in Orange Grove that Whiteman's Bookshop is finally closing. For many years Whiteman's was a good example of the smaller independent bookshop in Bath city centre. I remember the days well, when the city centre positively bustled with independent book retailers, co-existing with each other in a state of friendly and generally supportive rivalry. Wandering around the streets of Bath it used to be such a pleasure to pop into the various small bookshops to browse or ask questions of helpful and friendly staff. Who remembers Bowes & Bowes, Searight’s/Pan Books, Chapter & Verse, Bilbo's Books? How many Bath residents can now point to a volume on their bookshelves and say that they bought that in Wessex Books, Paperbacks or the Bridge Bookshop?

If one of these bookshops didn't have what you wanted, they would invariably point you in the direction of one of their fellow retailers. I used to work in Whiteman's myself many years and several owners ago. There was a comfortable permanence about the place, after all, people would always need books, wouldn't they?
Whiteman's was particularly attractive to me because it was a Specialist Supplier of transport titles and Ordnance Survey maps. Service to the customer was always paramount, even in the 'literally', dark days of the three-day week and regular power cuts, when a single high-pressure gas lamp was positioned in the centre of the shop to provide illumination.
Some will argue that the beginning of the end for Bath's small bookshops came when a large national bookselling chain store opened in the city. Or perhaps the ending of the Net Book Agreement meant that proprietors couldn't afford to pay high rents any longer.
Whether or not this is true, Whiteman's Bookshop managed to stay in business for many years, keeping the tradition of independent bookshops alive and I feel that Bath will be the poorer for its passing'.

How many of you love printed books like us, rather than e-books and online sources?

16 comments:

  1. sounds like a good idea is this only good in the UK?

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  2. Possibly Jo, check out the website it may tell you. Click link on words campaign for real books or word join. :O)

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  3. I love real books, Madeleine. Thanks for visiting my blog...I'm following your blog!

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  4. So sad to see the bookstores disappearing. First it was the internet (Amazon), then the economy and now ebooks. I'm not sure they'll ever recover from this triple whammy.

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  5. The library where I work needs all the support it can get at the moment. We have a big meeting next month to discuss our 'options'. Whatever that might mean.

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  6. Thanks for all your lovely supportive comments. Good luck with the meeting Karen. I decided to reserve a book at my local library rather than buy a copy this month. :O)

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  7. I'm a BIG fan of real books, NOT a fan of reading on a computer screen (the glare is something awful), but I AM going to get a Kindle next month, just to see what all the hoopla is all about (and to take advantage of all the FREE classics available from Amazon).

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  8. It saddens me to see libraries and book stores closing. The smell of leather bound books is a true delight to me. I love the feel of the uneven edges of the paper of old hardbacks.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. It mean a lot to me. Roland

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  9. I love owning real books and reading real books. How can an author personally sign your darn e-version? I read Marvin's Beware the Devil's Hug on my computer and it was not an experience I would want to do very often. That's the first book I've ever read in it's entirety on the screen.
    Books, book stores, book clubs --- yes! I love it when I get an Amazon or a book club shipment in the mail and have an actual book in my hands.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  10. Hi Lee
    Yes I was looking at amazon.co.uk, but I see it is available at amazon.com as a paperback. I think I may get it as a Xmas pressie.

    I'm glad you agree with me about real books,BTW too :O)

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  11. I love printed books. And while I do buy traditional books from Amazon, I also support my local bookstores. My favorite is Porter Square books.

    If you have a chance, stop by my blog "Substitute Teacher's Saga". I'm hosting a Halloween Haunting from 10/28-11/1. Enter to win a prize.

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  12. oh most definitely...i love the smell and texture of a real book...its sad to see the libraries dying b/c many can not or will not read otherwise....

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  13. Hopefully there's a place for both.

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  14. I love real books and haven't got into e-books yet, but my daughter keeps going on about getting a Kindle etc. Thanks for posting about this.

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  15. Without a doubt I will always place the printed book above ebooks. Nothing beats the weight and feel of paper. However, I did buy a Kindle this month. As an aspiring writer I want to be up-to-date with all forms of publishing and technology. I did feel I'd sold my soul to the devil, though!

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  16. I love the smell of them too.

    LOL Ellie a Kindle! Well I hope it all works out for your poor conscience ;O)

    Glad to hear everyone enjoys their real books.

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