Good question. Maybe we should ask what a bookstore is.
*shouts emit from a rambunctious audience spottily illuminated by cell phone light*
“A dying breed!”
“A waste of money!”
“A reptile after the reign of dinosaurs!”
“A place I occasionally get free wine!”
“Do they sell pens?”
*a long dramatic pause ensues, letting the angsty nostalgia subside*
To be honest. Yes. To all of it. Especially to the occasional free wine. Bookstores continue to face an uphill climb against a host of things we at Chevalier’s know as “The Age ofs…” The Age of E-readers. The Age of Streaming. The Age of Virtual Reality. The Digital Age. The Smart Tech Age. The Age of Millennials. The Age of Short Attention Span. The Age of the Tweet. Of Social Media. Of narcissism. Of incompetence.
You get the picture. We’re trapped in a type of no man’s land. Behind us is the Golden Age of Border’s and lines around the block for the newest Harry Potter. Ahead is an undefined terrain where people are trapped between supporting monopolies and valuing the human element of book recommendations. And that’s where we live. Maintaining because we love that little parcel of infertile soil that we have. We see beauty in the cracks of it and feel an unmatched joy when something blossoms.
This is why people still come to bookstores. They can see the passion that comes with it. The dedication in curating titles, in forming and bolstering a community around authors, artists and thinkers. The joy taken in finding just the right book for just the right person.
Which brings us back to the original question. Why a blog? Why a bookstore blog? Aren’t there enough of those things? Why Chevalier’s? Why now? Because we have fun here. Because we care about what you think. Because we work in the business of storytelling and want to contribute to that as much as possible. Like it or not, the bookstore, especially the independent kind, has become an economic niche, one that we think is interesting enough to take you on journeys in and out and around all the different worlds we have the pleasure of working with. Why write a bookstore blog? Because our place is a place of science, myth, religion, math, art, collaboration, isolation, education, entertainment, and so forth, all rolled into one sometimes neat, but mostly cluttered package of printed goodness.
So, welcome. To the quirky, upbeat, sometimes new, sometimes old world of the Chevalier’s blogs. Where we will tell you stories, take you on tours of the literary scene. Offer different kinds of reviews, and restore the human element that so drives literature. You’ll hear different voices, see things from different angles, and hopefully be inspired enough in your desk chair at home to come talk books with the people who love them the most.
They call us a fatality of the new and glitzy forms of entertainment that buzz in our pockets on a daily basis, but let me assure you, the respite from a book will never die.
Until next time.