My childhood was spent in libraries and bookstores. If you were the kid on the bike from dawn to dusk, only coming in for your tea, you probably missed me, curled up on a comfy armchair reading the latest thriller/fantasy/romance/crime... I moved in with my ex-partner with a suitcase of clothes and boxes and boxes of books.
I wasn't hot on the heels of an ereader when they first came out. Print books were still my crack. In fact, I was writing for over a year before I downloaded the Kindle software. Now I can't imagine life without a Kindle. All those books at my fingertips. I still love print too; the joy of a paperback and a cup of coffee. I am an equal opportunity book addict.
When I first moved into my town we had three large book stores, plus a WH Smith which at the time didn't sell much in the way of books. Then we had two Waterstones and the independent one closed down. First one Waterstones closed down, and then the other one went and we were left with nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. To a book addict like myself that hurt! In time our WH Smith expanded their book selection but it's not like being a store dedicated to books, books and more books.
I knew how starved my kids were for books when they insisted part of every trip out I took with my kids was spending time in the nearest bookstore. Their treat (picked by them, not me) was a new book which they would devour on the train home. Last year there was a possibility of Waterstones moving back into my town and from my daughter's reaction you'd have thought we won the lottery. Sadly, it didn't happen.
The feel of being in a bookshop is a feeling like no other. This week I went up to London to for an meeting with one of our M/M bloggers (exciting details to follow), in Waterstones near Trafalgar Square. Just walking in my fingers started to twitch and I wanted to grab those books. I was surrounded by the works of talented authors. Sadly none of my books (grumble) deck the shelves, M/M Romance is still ignored, but I have hope we'll become more mainstream in the future.
Of course I spend a heck of a lot of my M/M Romance book budget on Amazon and publishers online, simply because bookstores don't stock our books. 1-click is my friend and nemesis to my debit card. I also visit Gay's the Word in London for LGBT books.
Today is Sunday. I have my feet up on the sofa, I've downloaded a couple of books and I have a paperback or three to read. The enthusiastic cyclists can return when it's time for tea. I'm staying where I am.