For the Love of Bookshops came into the world in March 2011. It has always been a catch-all for my explorations into the world of books, independent bookstores and book culture. It continues to be that, but it’s now many other things now. Back in 2011, I was seriously looking into the possibility of opening my own independent bookstore, and so this space was the virtual cork board where I gathered thoughts on the industry, visual inspiration for my store, and where I reviewed books and championed indie bookstores by featuring as many shops as I could visit. I still do all those things. I still haven’t written off the possibility of still owning my own indie one day (though, these days, I’m leaning more toward a magic bookmobile), it’s just that for now I’m enjoying supporting them with my dollar and studying them from afar.

I write about other things on this space, too: balcony gardening, my travels, family, food I cook and eat, and anything I find to be eye-catching or pretty. So stay awhile. Have a look around and tell me what you think. Or, even better, tell me what you’re reading. And thanks for stopping by.

Have a suggestion or just like to say ‘hello’? Feel free to drop me a line: el.harwood@yahoo.com.

27 comments
  1. Claire said:

    Erin, I think this blog is fantastic. It is very tasteful and classic while still pulling me in to a topic I didn’t know I had some passion for. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to more. Great work.

  2. MSue said:

    Hey, glad to have found this, too!! I love books. Not just the words (though I like them as well) but the tactile feeling of turning the pages. As our town/city budgets are cut and libraries are slowly being cut, bookstores have become a necessity rather than a special pleasure for me. I love reading for many reasons: mind expansion, community of discussion on a specific book/series/topic, the permanence of the pages when I so frequently ‘lose’ what I’ve electronically had because I forgot to save. Thanks for keeping the discussion going! Glad to have found you!

  3. Lib said:

    Erin, this is wonderful! I’ve had a little free time this evening and have enjoyed looking all through your blog. What a great outlet for you and your husband and a wonderful way to encourage discussion around a variety of topics. Whenever the topic of local bookstores comes up, I can’t help but replay lines from the movie “You’ve Got Mail” where “The Shop Around the Corner” is run out of business by a ‘BIG’ new superstore. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) reflects: ” … so much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void …”
    Out here in the void and looking forward to new topics! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Anne said:

    Excellent blog! I hope you and Luke have the opportunity to own and operate a bookshop some day and I hope to be a faithful customer.

  5. Barbara Colwell said:

    Erin, I applaud your creativity and look forward to the future blogs.
    Go, Girl( and Luke)!

    • Barbara Colwell said:

      I am so computer etc NOT savy. What are you asking? I don’t know what “moderation” means?
      Yipes!

  6. Erin – I love your blog. As a UK bookseller working for Blackwell’s in Oxford I applaud your passion for ‘proper bookshops’.

    If you are ever over our way do come in and say Hi. Promise to buy you a coffee and sell you an armful of books…

    You may want to check out our shop blog http://broadconversation.wordpress.com/

    Euan

    • Erin said:

      Thank you, Euan! I may just take you up on that coffee. My husband is British and we return to the UK fairly often so I may just have to pop over for a visit some time.
      Thanks for reading!

  7. very cool blog! i’m also interested in where books are going and how we will find them in the furture!

    • Erin said:

      Thanks! I’m glad there are so many of us.

  8. Emily C said:

    This is a great blog and makes me happy – some of my favorite days are spent in bookstores.

    • Erin said:

      Thanks, Emily! We couldn’t agree more. :)

  9. Dounia said:

    This is a fantastic blog and completely understand your love for bookstores. I recently wrote a blog entry on my love of books and bookstores…maybe it can be of interest to you?http://tcknextstop.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/books-a-love-story/

    Thanks for sharing your love of books and bookstores, and best of luck to you and your husband for your future bookstore! And congrats on being freshly pressed today!

  10. Just for you information, there is also a lovely little book store chain in Australia (maybe elsewhere too, I’m not sure) called Mary Ryan’s. They have one in Toowoomba, Queensland and it’s amazing. I know chain stores go against the very core of unique and quaint book stores, but I think you might like this one. Coffee, music and books. :) They have a website; just look up Mary Ryan’s on Google.

  11. Coleen Jose said:

    Thank you for setting our thoughts into motion Erin and Luke! This is wonderful. For the Love of Bookshops, I immediately thought about a class I took called “Losing the News.” The class focused on the rise of virtual newspapers and the loss of “gatekeepers” i.e. editors and professionals who ensured accuracy and artistry in writing.

    Although we didn’t “find” the news in that class, we were (like you said) given a lot more questions than answers. What is the future of books and of print? It may not happen in our lifetime, but will there be space for a coveted, loved hardcover in the far future?

    As I write this from a cold library — with an ambience like a 1970′s file room, I crave the bookshop nook, the lush chair that feels like a hug from my mom or a great friend! Thank you for helping makre sure that the bookshop won’t just be a display of the past inside a museum.

    For the love of bookshops,
    Coleen

  12. Stephanie said:

    so glad to have found this site – cant wait to have time to read every single thing on the “pages”. The love of books is a great love – it lasts a lifetime and never ends…..I too aspire to owning a very small bookshop and encourage local input and display local art and immerse myself more and more. I now will follow your site with much interest all the way from Australia……

  13. …you know, erin….this is just the kind of writing space i love….notice i dont use the word blog…what a nasty sounding word it is! to me anyways!
    seriously tho, like you, i have always been a lover of books…ever since i was a 10 yr old and was chosen to be teh school’s library assistant!
    but, today…i fear for books…proper books i mean…books you and i can handle, admire, turn the pages and then read.
    alas, technology has begun rearing its head again and is looking greedily at our arena and how it can make it defunct, in as short a time!
    for me, a book has to be a book…with real paper pages, a cover, with designs on it, a certain parfum, too…something that i can disappear into when all around me is chaos..something that allows me to become a time traveller even….an e-book just doesnt cut it…
    anyways, all hail to our books and hope you get your dream-mobile very soon…!

  14. …oh by the way…you wanted to know what books we’re reading? im almost done with In and Of, by Jack Haas…..a very, very deep meaning book….i recommend it!

  15. Nice to meet you! I’m Vietnamese person! I’m like writing and reading book. I’m writing everything that happened to me: my family, my friends, my study…. Hope we can keep in touch!

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