Going to a bookstore is an adventure, especially for those who are avid readers and lovers of reading. Although we are starting embrace the digital era, and it is more practical to carry a digital reader than a book (especially if they are big), for me it is still exciting to physically visit a bookstore.
I confess I am an addict for buying books, and even when I always read all those I buy, I feel somewhat guilty to buy new ones when I still have a line of them waiting to be read. That is why I limited my visits to bookstores until I had only two books left. Thanks to that self-imposed limit, visits became sporadic and I enjoyed them even more.
It is interesting how each of us behaves differently in bookstores, and some of us have our own processes or even rituals when choosing the book or books to take. I know there are many more, but here you have some dramatized classifications of the types of people found in bookstores, you may identify yourself with more than one:
The guided missile
As the name implies, these type of buyers know exactly what they will buy before walking through the door. It may be that they have limited time, or just that they do not want to fall into temptation of buying additional books. They go like a guided missile directly to the objective. The only deviation they allow is asking for information to some employee to find the books, and wait impatiently while they are located.
These bookstore visitors walk around as if in a crime scene. They are very meticulous and patient. They view book by book, analyzing covers, remembering previously read reviews and reading the back covers, to make an exhaustive evaluation. They may choose books as the investigation progresses, or at the end once it is all done.
This type of persons prefers to ask for advice and recommendations from others, so they can make a decision. They have already talked to family and friends about what books they prefer. They also ask the bookstore employees which ones are their favorites. They may even talk to other people at the store and ask them questions, like interviewing them, to know what recommendations they have so they can eventually choose which books to buy.
The mystic seeker
I personally identify myself with this type. These buyers walk around the store, read some titles, but walk around as if aimless or without an obvious order, until something inside tells them to visit a specific section and take some book from the shelf. They are mystic because they do not know exactly why some sections are visited rather than others, they just wanted to see what they could find. Something intangible guides them. I am like this at bookstores when I have no specific objective; I follow my instincts and randomly analyze books until I find some that catch my attention.
This buyer walks around the library checking covers and back covers, it may look like a simplified version of The detective. However, the romantics only choose books with which they feel a connection. It is like having a quick date: a book catches their glimpse, they look around and stare again at the book, they walk slowly towards it, with tenderness they grab it and observe the cover, confirm it is as cute as when they looked at it from afar, they read the back cover and laugh a little at the lines read, they open the book and inhale the smell that fills their lungs and makes them exhale strongly, as if sighing. They decide to take the book only after falling in love with it.
The museum visitor
This type of person arrives at a bookstore and walks around as if taking a stroll. They have fun walking between sections, maybe reading the first pages of some books. They take maximum advantage of the comfy couches or cafeterias inside bookstores. They are the ones that enjoy the most these kind of places. And many times, as when visiting a museum, they leave the store empty-handed.
I hope you enjoyed this little list of characters. With which one did you feel identified the most? I have behaved like all types, although just one or two of them prevail. Writing this short article made me want to go to a bookstore.
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