I actually got to go into my local bookshop yesterday and spend more than an hour in there before I felt anxious and it was wonderful. I could walk around with my arms full of books, take my time deciding what I was going to get and see all the new books that have come out.
So, a little backstory. As a bookworm, why does my local bookshop fill me with such anxiety? I’d like to point out that it’s not all bookshops; just Waterstones. I love Foyles and indies and feel perfectly content in them. Put me in a Waterstones, however, and my heart rate swiftly increases. Put me in my local Waterstones, and you’re lucky I don’t have a panic attack. I am a very unhappy ex-employee – I was treated disgustingly by the management to the verge of a mental breakdown. So yes, I hate the shop, which in turn made me hate the company. I have a six page grievance letter that doesn’t even cover everything that was going wrong! Long story short, I’m disgusted at the way the staff are treated.
This breaks my heart.
From a young age, my dream job was to work at Waterstones so imagine how happy I was to get a job there! It was my safe place. So, to have lost that is devastating. But yesterday I decided to overcome my fear, albeit a little bit easier because I knew that there were no managers in and my best friend still works there, and I spent at least an hour in the shop browsing books to my heart’s content!
Bookshops are amazing and such a necessary part of the community, but I think that we all need to support smaller businesses and show that the reason we go to bookshops is for the warmth they bring and the staff loving their job which I feel you don’t always get in a chain bookshop. But at the same time, you can’t compete with the prices of the supermarkets and online. Once upon a time, I was so loyal to my local bookshop that I would save my money and spend more to buy books from them, but now I’d rather be able to afford more books and purchase them elsewhere. I don’t get that incredible service, the managers aren’t in it for the love of books and I know that they don’t value their customers so why should I shop there?
I don’t really know why I’ve written this! But I just felt like I need to put out there that I did it – I went into a place that nearly destroyed me and I didn’t freak out!
What are your thoughts?