View RSS Feed

day in a life

Online bookstores

Rate this Entry
I live on the ice. We have brilliant authors and poets here, no other country in the world publishes as many books per capita, and we are proud of it. There are not many small independent bookstores, here I can think of 3, but one of them also publishes books, and one is a bookstore and a café (and my home away from home). We have chains that have a great variety of books from all over the world but it's not perfect.

That is where online bookstores come in. I have used Amazon a lot, but always with guilt in my heart, I use book depository and I get free delivery, I also use the Guardian bookstore. It's not like being in the store browsing and smelling the books, it's sitting in my kitchen, in my pj's getting something specific. Or it's looking through used books hoping the one I buy won't look real bad, or stink.

On Monday I got a package from the Guardian bookstore, an illustrated dictionary of Shakespeare's work, mainly cause it looked good and I like words, and a small collection of Shakespeare's soliloquies. Very nice, I was very happy. I sat down at the before mentioned café and opened it up. The owner came, curious to see what I had. She told me about Shakespeare and company's online store. I never thought they had an online store. Well, it is beautiful. I went home, with my two brand new books in boring packages and ordered Howl and other poems by Allen Ginsberg. I have always wanted a book of his poetry and I am pretending I am rich....

Well the package came this morning. Marked Shakespeare and Company with a quote from the (second) founder "The bookstore is an empire of the spirit that has been expanded laterally". I opened it up and inside were two bookmarks from the store and a brown paper bag with the store's logo. I opened the bag and inside was the book I orderer smelling like a wonderful perfume that made me think of Paris ( though I have never been) a poem by Robert Burns written by an employee on a typewriter. A photo taken in May of the store and a small piece of paper with a quote by Steve Martin that said "Be so good they can't ignore you".

This is the best book delivery I have ever had, and it almost or really just sits at the top, along side with a birthday present I got when I was 7 from my aunt, she sent me 4 Blue Castillo. Blue cheeses cause at that time you couldn't get them here on the ice, and I love'em. I gave my mom and dad one with me and ate the rest myself.

I know I will order my books in the future from Shakespeare and company, it's almost as good as browsing though an old bookstore alone. Like the cheese, I will enjoy these gifts alone and happy.


  1. Danik 2016's Avatar
    Thanks for this post, Helga! I went to the site of Shakespeare and Company and was delighted. I think I never saw a bookstore so after my taste: no modern bestsellers, a lot of classics instead. They succeeded in transfering the atmosphere and the charm of an old international bookstore to an internet site. I don´t know if I am ever going to use it, but I stored it under my favorites.
    Updated 05-07-2016 at 09:54 PM by Danik 2016
  2. Helga's Avatar
    yeah, it is great just to browse too. I do recommend you use it at least once just to get the package. Also the gift boxes, amazing...
  3. Danik 2016's Avatar
    I certainly will if I can. But I'll have to wait for just now the Euro is worth about 5 times our currency.
    But as you say it´s a pleasura just browsing through.
    We have some very good libraries here too. The most interesting of them managed to introduce the love of books in a country where few people are interested in them. It expanded into a national chain, added a film and music CD section and a café all this during a time of financial crisis.
    But now I think its talented owner retired and his children took over.
    There is a distinct difference in managment: they are turning my favorite library into a stationery.
    Updated 05-08-2016 at 11:45 AM by Danik 2016