Assuaging the Guilt
Guilt. It is a terrible thing; it eats away at you, at your relationships, and you may find yourself avoiding people you love.
Guilt. That is what I have been feeling for several weeks. I have been cheating on someone I love: The Country Bookshop.
I have fallen in love with my iPad and take it with me when I have to travel, most particularly when I have to go to board meetings in New York, which used to mean getting 5-inch-thick briefing books but now are reduced to pdfs on my iPad. It is heaven to be able to travel light.
I downloaded a book onto the iPad and felt the pang of illicit love. I no longer needed to add a bulging book to my purse as I roam the Sandhills or fly away.
It lightened my load but not my heart.
Dear Reader, I am a constant reader and, as my Darling Husband will tell you, I almost never (that is to say, never) go into the wonderful Country Bookshop that I do not leave with a book. Sometimes for me, sometimes for "a friend," or so I tell Darling Husband.
I love everything about a book, the smell, the feel, the act of turning pages, and sometimes I know I will keep a book for a lifetime knowing that I will return again and again. I sometimes mark favorite passages or even (gasp!) write in the margins!
But I have cheated with e-books I have been reading on my iPad and must confess to you, fellow Reader, that I did not know that I could have my guilty pleasure of e-reading and not "step out" on my true love, my local bookshop.
This week I learned that I can go onto The Country Bookshop website and download from Google books, getting the ease of an e-book to travel with all the while supporting my beloved independent bookstore!
Oh my gosh, it is like meeting my husband at a motel for an affair, all of the fun and none of the danger!
So, if you are like me and like the ease of your Kindle, iPad or whatever else you may have, go ahead and indulge with the books you do not need to hold in your hands, but do it through The Country Bookshop's website. You get to have your choice and still support this gem that fights to stay in our lives.
D.H. and I recently were up in Fearrington Village and stumbled upon their bookstore there, McIntyre's Books. My only envy was the cushy chairs and reading areas. This is a heavily supported and used store with a history.
We have the same, but need to support The Country Bookshop so they too can find places for us to plunk down and read, meet and discuss books, get wonderful suggestions from readers and the wonderful staff.
There is nothing like being in a room with readers who quietly but enthusiastically share books of all kinds with each other. Writers you might not ever give a glance can be opened to your heart and mind, and you get to share the ones that touch your heart, challenge your concepts and ideology.
Bookshops are a "use it or lose it" part of life, and being able to combine both the world of hand-held, hard-copy books with the world of e-books is a wonderful convergence of the new and the old.
But going online and not going through The Country Bookshop is yet another nail in the coffin to such shops, and we can only ask so much of The Pilot in keeping the boat, as it were, afloat.
I was late to the party on e-books through the bookshop, but I can promise you that I will only buy through their website.
I will still smuggle in the odd hard copy of books to my home (don't tell Darling Husband).
Go, pick up a book via www.thecountrybookshop.biz, or via the store, and settle in for a trip to France, back to the Founding Fathers or Nancy Drew.
The day is young, and you can be wherever you wish to be via a book.
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She recently retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials.
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