The smell was so much like “going home.” My first job as a youth was as a page in a library. As an adult, and before the decline of the book store in general, I would browse so long my wife refused to go with me to a book store any more. So stepping back into the store today felt comfortable. It felt right. The trees were the right height and all that, like a certain politician would say. I simply used to love going into book stores. But that was “before the decline”.
Sure, the first decline was the disappearance of the independent book seller. The superstores came, and yes, they had more inventory, but you got lost. Still, it was fun. They added cafes. Comfortable couches. Public book readings. But then came the e-readers, and the bad economy. Some chains closed their doors. I myself bought an e-reader. As much as anything because I was running out of real estate in my house to store my books. I also have to say I enjoy my e-reader. Especially on a trip...I no longer have to choose between “this book or that...and what if I get 50 pages in and the thing just doesn't grab me? THEN what?” So the modern convenience has its pros.
It was also nice getting into the e-reader because like many here I belong to a community that is putting out their own writing, and the e-reader is a path to read the e-published books of my new friends.
But today, I went back in to a store that sold physical books. I mean, books that you could pick up, touch, notice different fonts, notice the paper used, read a few pages while standing in an aisle and being oblivious to someone trying to get by. That sort of fun thing.
Let's also mention the place sold real coffee. That smell drifted over the stacks as I browsed titles. It was nice. To top it off, I walked out (after not an immeasurably long time, dear wife) holding a treasure bag...with some purchases...mementos of my time spent raiding the bookshelves and plundering (buying) the treasures sold.
Just a different experience than the e-reader. And one we should not forget.