Have loved books for as long as I can remember.
And given their close connection, I have loved bookshops with just as much passion for almost as long.
Where other kids were spending their hard-won pocket money on skateboards, lollies and comics books – OK I did that too but not exclusively, and let’s be fair, the skateboard phase of my life was not a longlasting one – I was buying as many books as I cold manage.
I also begged for them as presents for birthdays and Christmas, and when the money was tight and birthdays and Christmas didn’t come around anywhere near quickly enough – it didn’t help that my those dates all fell at the end of the yea, leaving 11 months of present-less existence to endure – you could find me in the community library or at the school library (a haven from the bullies as much as anything else).
But when money was available, my favourite place to be was always deep within a bookstore, spending hours and hours roaming the shelves, picking out books, reading the opening page to get a feel for an intended purchase, and talking to the staff, many of whom loved books as much as I did, about their recommendations.
There was something infinitely calming about being in bookshops, place I felt I belonged and where the world made perfect, gloriously rich and poetic sense.
As a nascent writer, reading fuelled my ability to express my imaginative thoughts into words, the two forming a happy bond that continues to this day and so bookshops were instrumental in my now-flourishing writing career.
I owe bookshops bigtime.
So supporting #LoveYourBookshopDay, which happens today, is a no brainer.
Three of my favourite bookshops in Sydney – Better Read Than Dead (best name ever!) in Newtown, Dymocks Sydney and Kinokuniya – are participating, all of them staging a series of great events during the day to mark the event.
Will I be instore at at least one of these shops? Of course, I will! And there’s a better than even chance that I will purchase a book or two … or ten.
And honestly even if I don’t, Love Your Bookshop Day is a great opportunity to tell my favourite booksellers that I love what they do, that I support them in their quest to not just make money but to spread a love for spreading among people big and small, and that I will keep supporting them as long as I draw breath.
I even contributed to Better Read Than Dead’s social media outfits for the day with the following piece of fulsome praise:
“You love books! I love books! You guys honestly feel like family and it makes buying books and reading so much more pleasurable.”
It pretty much sums up my love affair with books and bookshops, and honestly even if there isn’t a Love Your Bookshop Day where you are – and if not, why not? – why not pop along to your local bookshop, peruse, chat with the staff and other book lovers, and maybe even buy some more books to fall in love with?
As far as I’m concerned there is no better way to spend the day.