Thursday, November 01, 2012
Bookworm - Downtown Books
Today I came across an article in the Weekly Alibi about the struggle of independent bookstores as people take to reading on electronic devices rather than good old ink on paper. It's a good piece and you should read it. But you should also take it a step farther and pay a visit to a local bookstore. That's what I chose to do. Inspired by the article, I stepped into Downtown Books for the first time.
I don't know why it's taken me so long to get around to visiting this place. It sits between two of my most frequented cafes in the downtown area. I was actually drinking coffee at Java Joe's when I read the Alibi article. That's when I decided to finish up and walk the short distance to this corner fixture on 8th Street.
The first thing I notice when walking in was the pungent smell of paper, ink, and glue. You know that unmistakable smell of books, the aroma that lingers in libraries and stacks of paperbacks. It's especially strong at Downtown Books, no doubt due to the concentration of so many books in such a small space.
I was taken aback by the size of the collection. It's not a very large space yet it housed aisle after aisle of books crammed row to row without gaps or empty space on the shelves.
Every section is clearly indicated with handwritten markers with an occasional quote or friendly suggestion. It made perusing the aisles that much more fun.
If you feel a little lost browsing the books, take the O'Rourke quote to heart and pick out that classic novel you never got around to reading or a page-turning bestseller. And remember, you'll never run into an undiscovered treasure by sticking to a recommended list to download to your electronic devices. You've got to climb inside a bookstore, a local and independent one like Downtown Books, and comb through the aisles until you find the one that speaks to you.
Go ahead. Try it. I dare you.
109 8th Street SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102