I love stationery stores. Not today’s big box stores where you buy copier paper by the carton or paper towels and coffee cups by the hundreds. No, I mean the type of stores that sell elegant linen stationery and fine fountain pens, ledger books, and sealing wax. There was a sensory experience in those old stationery stores that just did not translate to those big warehouse stores. When I do come across an old-fashioned stationery store, I cannot help but slip inside.
In my youth, there was a stationery store nearby that also sold books. In fact, it was the only bookstore for miles around with hardbound books and paperbacks too, with classy books of poetry and philosophy, with not a bodice-ripper to be seen — except if you knew where to look for them.
Books. I remember delicately opening the pages of a newly acquired book, sticking my face in the binding and inhaling the aroma of glue and fabric. You can’t do that with an e-reader.
E-readers do have their advantages. These days I can’t always read the fine print of a book, so that text enlargement function on the readers is useful. I can download the latest publication of favorite authors the second they are released. And when I have the overwhelming need at 2 in the morning to have that book on water dowsing or quantum physics for right-brained people, I can get them with a single tap on the 1-Click button.
However, there is something about a physical book that entices me. There is just something more intensely satisfying about running a slow hand over the soft, warm texture of paper– more gratifying than the cold touch of an e-reader’s slick surface of plastic. It does not even come close.
Paper can be quite sensual in its own seductive way.
ljg (c) 2017