Every time you open a book, you are transported to a new world and into the lives of new people. We make friends. Go on adventures. See things we might never otherwise.
The possibilities are endless.
Books can also offer antidotes to anything that may be weighing on our minds. Feeling low? An uplifting read could help. Feeling anxious? How about a comforting one? Sick of being stuck at home? Travel to a faraway place through a story. Need to escape the world for a while? Books can temporarily suspend reality.
Independent bookshops are wonderful places to discover new reads. Unlike the paperback aisles crammed into supermarkets, well-known chains or Amazon, each independent offers a unique experience and a genuine passion for literature. Their superb, personal book recommendations are the reason I now have bookshelves lining three rooms!
This year has been tough on our independents.
Many have had to close for significant periods but I’m pleased that some of my favourites have remained present with readings on social media, conversations about books and moments of literary fun. They’ve been so creative.
Last week, I was delighted to hear that the owner of a particular favourite, Warwick Books, was recently named as one of The Bookseller’s 2020 Bookshop Heroes. Mog Giacomelli-Harris has not only managed to keep her fabulous bookshop going through the pandemic, but has spent much of her time helping customers by making food deliveries, picking up medicines and spending time on the phone to them.
The arrival of Bookshop.org in the UK, following its success in the US, is helping more of our independents get online and keep going. When it’s time for your next read, if you can’t get to an independent bookstore, why not support them through this ethical website?
Books make the best gifts, not just for loved ones, but for ourselves.
When we support the independent bookshops (and libraries) in our communities, just like our favourite characters, we too can become book heroes.