Here is something interesting. Over the Christmas season, I had the opportunity to not be in the middle of nowhere, visiting family and such. Taking myself out of the Northern wilderness in which I usually live, and driving south has many pros and cons. Seeing family (pro), long car rides (con… unless a good audiobook is loaded up 😉 ), cheaper groceries and gas (pro), having no power because of ice-storms (con)… and the list could go on. The pro/con that I find taking a particular amount of my attention has to do with (you guess it) books.
Alas, the pros must eventually come to an end. They say that all good things come to those who wait. Perhaps wade is an equally applicable word… wading through the many books available for my purchasing pleasure (and there is a lot of wading to find those nuggets of joy hidden within the stacks). How, you ask, could such a place have any cons? That is like saying there is pain in Heaven, is it not? Perhaps, but beneath the deceitful facade of perfection there is indeed a problem. This is a problem that every one of us can fix. Yes, we have all been empowered! The problem is this. All of the books were traditionally published.
Used book stores are great. I mean, come on, just walking into a giant open space filled with shelves and shelves of books just puts a skip in my step and my heart wants to beat faster than is medically safe. What a sight! What a feeling! Past all the mushy stuff, there are books. An entire wall labelled “Fantasy/Sci-fi” and a whole selection of beautiful hardback possibilities. There is even more than one shelf of horror books, a pro not oft seen. Here, I could spend hours, and only crack the cover of a few books before deciding, “A 500+ page hardback for only $5! Done!”
Imagine this, a place where used paperbacks and gently loved hardbacks are available from indie authors! With the digital age exploding, much tree-killing is falling by the way side, but some people still love physical books. Even if you love ebooks, all must admit: an ebook lacks that glorious freshly-printed or used-book scent. Such things are indeed integral to the reading experience.
“I have a dream,” said many famous people. I say the same thing, though am not truly famous. My dream is used bookstores filled with just as many self-published books as traditionally published… or maybe even more! And back to that empowering thing: if we all buy indie paper/hardbacks they might someday end up as previously loved editions on some such stacks as these. Perhaps we should all pick our favourite indie authors, buy ten copies of their paperback, and donate them to the local used book stores, thrift stores, friends, family, leave them “accidentally” somewhere in the mall. Yes, this is the path to the future, and we all can help make the world a better place, one book at a time. Perhaps someday, when I walk into a used book store, I might see my own self-published works there. Time has yet to reveal such things to me. 😉