Do you buy books in a shop or online?

I love the smell of books.

The paper, the ink, the print finish on the dust jacket, the dust jacket itself even the glue that binds it all together all have a unique aroma that is part and parcel of the book reading experience. So I delight in the sensory experience of buying a physical book in an actual bookshop.

But it’s a hard thing to do these days.

Even in a big city like Leeds there’s only one bookshop of note – Waterstones. The low cost and convenience of Amazon has meant that the book buying experience has been transformed into a remote, transactional act that is all about cost and nothing to do with value. I’ll be honest – I’m partly to blame too. It’s hard to see a book half the price online and not buy it. But I do try where possible to buy my books from Waterstones in Leeds, if they don’t have a book in stock then their ordering service is excellent. Also when I’m in a bookshop, I always buy more than I intended to buy…I can’t resist a well designed cover or an unusual format or a tactile cover.

But Waterstones aren’t going down without a fight.  They’re running a superb awareness campaign right now that’s really caught my eye – it’s an interesting and engaging angle focusing on selling the bookshop and not the contents of the bookshop. Will it make more of us buys books from a shop and not a website?

Take a look and let me know what you think…

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