It’s the thrill of the hunt: There is something very gratifying about finding an unusual or interesting book amongst the stacks in a second-hand bookstore. Or a book you’ve been trying to find for ages. And the joy of taking this little treasure home with you.
It’s the ambiance of the second-hand bookstore: The smell, the light, the history, the weightiness of these places.
It’s about getting lost in the books: For a few hours you are completely enveloped by the arms of the bookstore. No more worries. Just you and the books.
It’s the history: There is comfort in spending time with books that have been around longer than you have, and connecting with authors and book owners from days gone by.
It’s the familiarity of place, a commonality amongst peoples: Like seeking out an old friend when you are in a new city, my father sought out old bookstores wherever he travelled. And he could happily spend an entire afternoon in the stacks. It was one of his happy places. And mine too.
It helps me keep my father alive: My father died many years ago. But I carry on his love of books and bookstores. I feel like he is with me when I visit these places, and when I find a good book (especially anything nautical, which he collected) I want to hold it up and yell: “Hey dad, look at his one!”.
What do you like about second-hand bookstores?