Got up to MA a bit early yesterday (for a family birthday dinner in Westborough) so I came across, and visited, the Tatnuck Bookseller.
Since Ray Bradbury's recent passing, I vowed to pick up a compilation of short stories; he was (arguably) the first science fiction author I read ("S is for Space" and "The Illustrated Man" courtesy of Scholastic Books, sold though my catholic school) and perhaps the first adult author as well. And though the physical books I owned have been long lost, his stories resonate through my memory, and I have come to believe that some part of my moral compass is advised by Mr. Bradbury.
So I picked up a newish compilation, A Pleasure to Burn, short stories that prefigured Farenheit 451. I also found Louise Erdrich's Tracks on the bargain rack (I've read and enjoyed a few of her books, but not a rabid reader) as well as a book of related short stores, Tales of the Ten Lost Tribes by Tamar Yellin - a complete shot in the dark (I was looking for short story compilations for summer reading). It feels nice to have a couple of physical books I can tuck into a bag for a trip, an outing, or a lazy afternoon. I'd hit the library, but my reading is so sporadic and opportunistic - I rarely finish a book in a week or two that a borrowed book would require.
It has been so long since I went book browsing. I do not shop much (for anything); the last few "I really want to read that" books went straight to my iPad, occasionally I will place an Amazon order. Tatnuck is a lovely independent (by all appearances) bookstore with a nice cafe, selection of gifts, summer reading racks, etc.
That being said, the floorspace devoted to books was a lot smaller than perhaps once upon a time, and the selection limited (perhaps a half dozen titles by Mr. Bradbury out of his dozens of published works) - one can see the allure of the "get anything you want" juggernaut amazon, or the instant gratification of the eBook.