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The Difference Between Mom & Pop Bookstores and Chain Bookstores

The first chapter of James Gunn‘s Gift from the Stars caught my attention.

It all started at the little bookstore where Adrian liked to browse when he had the time. Browsing in the chain superstores wasn’t the same. In the superstores you could find almost any kind of book you wanted, and anything you couldn’t find could be located by computer and made available a day or so later. That was assuming you knew what you wanted, or could find it in the current maze of instant literature. But there were so many books, you couldn’t browse in an eclectic jumble of old and new. Anyway, the superstores didn’t smell right. They smelled like, well, like department stores with air recirculated every thirty seconds. Bookstores could smell like old leather and good paper and printer’s ink and maybe a little dust.

It reminds of of why I prefer to shop at bookstores instead of online. But then again, I’m a Gatherer, not a Hunter.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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