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Armchair Reading… Furniture in Bookish Spaces

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… a sneak peak into where we acquire our books and what makes us keep going back!

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives. This month, I will be trying to dig deeper into why we choose to buy our books from certain places, and what, besides the books(!) makes us keep going back. Today’s post will look at how furniture is used in full-price and second-hand bookstores and libraries, and why it might make a difference as to whether we visit again…

Waterstones

I’m using Waterstones as my representative for full-price bookstores because it is the one I am the most familiar with, but you can always imagine this as your local Barnes and Noble, or local independent bookstore. When I walk into Waterstones, besides being awed by the number of books available to me, I also see the comfort of a squishy armchair or sofa. This is great (because we can all agree that book shopping can hard work and heavy lifting!) as it allows customers to relax and makes for a more comfortable and homely atmosphere. Also, a lot of Waterstones shops have the addition of a cafe, so, after making a purchase, or if you’ve bought your own book along with you, you can sit back and enjoy your book with a nice cup of tea, while still being surrounded by all of those wonderful books. It it also a great chance to socialise with other book lovers (and perfect for book club meetings)!

Second-hand Bookstores

If you go to a charity shop in hope of a book bargain, you may see a lack of seating. It is, like many second-hand stores, just like a regular shop. You wouldn’t expect many places to have somewhere you can just sit down and have a cuppa, like Waterstones. Just like thrift stores dedicated to books, it is unusual to find places with adequate seating, because they are usually s crammed with books! This can be a good thing, because come on, loads of books, but after you’ve spent hours upon hours rooting through the jumble, there’s no where to have a perch! It comes across as a less relaxed style of shopping, and a more hectic, bargain hunting process. You’ve come to find cheap books, not to spend hours at your leisure browsing the beautiful bookshelves. Of course, I’m not saying that this applies to every second-hand bookstore, but this is just my experience with them. And don’t get me wrong, I do love a good rummage through the old stacks!

The Library

And finally, the place we all adored as young bookworms, and still have a fondness for today (because, hello, free books)! The library is not there to attract book buyers, but rather a relaxed browser who can be set to spend the whole day there (I have lost count of how many times I have spent the entire day in the library). And the reason this can be the case is because of the furniture and why it is there. The library offers a wide range of books, fiction and non fiction alike. They are free for you to browse at will and take home for a few weeks with the presentation of your library card. However, sometimes it’s nice to not have to take books home. With beanbags for the children, chairs for the adults, and desks for the students, anyone can set themselves up for a day at the library. As long as I have everything I need, I am more than happy to sit and work while surrounded by books!

So there you have it, an examination of furniture is bookish places. I bet you’ve never really thought about it much, but here it is in writing, and you may think of it every time you visit the bookstore or the library from now on. I’d love to know what you thought about this post, and if you think the soft furnishings of your local bookstore impact your decision to go back (besides the books, of course!) Also, if you’ve come across any second-hand bookstores with an ample amount of armchairs, I’d love to hear about them!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

By bookmuffin

I like books and tea. MA Children's Literature student.

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