Jack Baty Daily

Daily notes from Jack about everything

I went to a bookstore yesterday

Have you ever been to a bookstore? I have, and they are wonderful.

I needed to run some errands yesterday and happened to drive by Schuler Books, an independent store based in Michigan and one I've been going to for decades.

It's been a couple of years since I've been inside a bookstore and oh my goodness what a feeling. Am I the only one that feels a certain calming wonder upon entering any bookstore? Maybe not the giant chain stores because they feel a little yucky to me and it takes the fun out of it, but the local(ish) stores that have been in the neighborhood forever. Mmmm.

Shopping for books by walking around amongst the shelves is an immeasurably better experience than endlessly clicking on the computer. The only reviews to be had are a few hand-written notes in front of some books. One per book. No aggregated score. No algorithm. No ads.

I bought the new Neal Stephenson book (which is honestly why I was there in the first place). But I also bought The Ten Thousand Doors of January and a book of poetry by Rilke. During checkout, they said that they loved the Rilke book and how it included the original German-language versions. They then inserted a bookmark in each book, and packed them all into a crisp paper bag and said, "Enjoy!"

Bookstores are the best.

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