From The Independent:
There is nothing like the romance of a bookshop. A living, breathing behemoth where people wander around in dreamy circles, bump into interesting strangers, flirt, buy a book, go for coffee, fall in love, get their hearts broken, then go back for consolation. We know this from films of old, from 84 Charing Cross Road and The Big Sleep to Manhattan, Notting Hill and You’ve Got Mail. This is the “How We Met” story that we would like to tell our children and friends: “Oh, we met in the poetry section of that old bookshop in 1984, and look at us now!”
Well, now we can. Again. For a while, it looked as if the story might be a defunct one with the rise and rise of digital bookshoppery – the e-book, the print-on-demand book, the Amazon juggernaut. Why bother wandering around a shambolically dusty, second-hand store looking for an obscure favourite when you can surf the clean, clinical surfaces of your laptop? Why pay £7.99 for a paperback when you can get it on your iPad for £1.99?
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Because we want to. Because the physical bookshop holds, more and more, a lure that digital can’t quite emulate. The latest and most romantic of offering is Libreria, a wondrously sprawling venue in the East End of London, which is 830 square feet of books, and more books.
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We are also choosing the letter over the email – a new trend to tweet letters is a joyous mash-up of old and new. Shaun Usher’s brilliant project –Letters of Note and its sequel – must surely have something to do with the return of the letter, not just in giving us the beautiful, coffee-table books he has put together but also the live events attended by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch. The “physical”, it turns out, holds an appeal that cannot easily be surpassed by virtual technology, which is most life-affirming.
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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry was throwing down a gauntlet in 2014. It dared those who had kept tender displays of emotion battened down over centuries to pick though its pages and not weep.
Link to the rest at The Independent
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, Posts That Make Grown Men Laugh, what will booksellers think of next?