This is a thought triggered by reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend and by How To Find Love In A Book Shop. I mean, I have often considered what I would want in my perfect (independent, of course) book shop, much like I have idly wondered what my perfect library would be like. I want to know what makes a book store hold a special place in your heart? What do you look for in that perfect book shop you want to return to time and time again?
Now, first of all, I have to say there are very few book stores round by me, all we seem to have is Waterstones and the little Foyles at New Street Station in Birmingham so I don’t really have a vast knowledge of what makes a perfect bookstore, I just know what is available by me. That being said, I feel I have read plenty of books and seen plenty of films and TV shows to be able to recognise what would be awesome though.
Comfortable Seating Area For A Bit Of A Read
I like being able to sit down and relax once I’ve decided on my bookish purchase. If my nice comfortable seating areas could also have a coffee shop of some kind that would also be great. There is nothing better than a nice cup of coffee and a good book. I like to be able to just relax. I also really like the atmosphere you get in book shops. I don’t want to be sat with a cup of coffee chatting, I just want the quiet peaceful atmosphere you get there.
I Want To Be Able To Sit And Not Be Disturbed
I like to be able to relax in a book shop and I like to know that when I’m sitting folks aren’t going to be talking to me. I want a silent seating section (along with my comfort seating for relaxing). The quiet carriage in book shop form. A place where you get shushed almost like at a classic library. Where you don’t have to put up with people talking and laughing and screaming children. It just needs to be a quiet corner, but where words aren’t used and you move sharpish if your phone starts ringing.
I Want The Shelves To Be Well Labelled
One of the things I most adored in The Readers Of Broken Wheel was the unique shelving system. It wasn’t defined by genre, which is so limiting, but instead it had unique shelves with things like warning about unhappy endings and needing tissues. I need my shelves to be a bit more unique and I think that was best seen in Broken Wheel and so I want my imaginary book shop to have that too. It could be a different shelf each month to keep things interesting as well. I loved she had shelves like ‘Sex, Violence and Weapons’ and ‘Small Town Life’ or ‘Warning: Unhappy Ending’.
My favourite part of the whole naming system was the below quote:
If more bookshop owners had taken the responsibility to hang warning signs, her life would have been much easier. Cigarette packets came with warnings, so why not tragic books? There was wording on bottles of beer warning you not to drink and drive, but not a single word about the consequences of reading books without tissues to hand.
But I Want Someone Knowledgeable And Friendly To Speak To Too
Look, I know I want my book shop quiet carriage, but I do still want smart friendly people to help me out when necessary. I want someone who can make recommendations, but only when asked. I want them to say they don’t know something but smile and help you out anyway. I just want nice people working in the book shop, not the frowning youths who are angry at having to get a part time job like you get in most shops.
And there you have my dream book shop requests. If you happen to know a shop which meets these criteria please say below, I may try and visit (if I can). What would your perfect book shop be like? Would you want cosy and intimate or do you like how impersonal big book shops are and getting to be a bit anonymous as you browse?