All my life, I have lived near bookstores. Or it has seemed like it, because I come from a family of avid readers, frequenting bookstores since I was a child in India. I have an almost atavistic response to books: I use nearly all of my senses in experiencing them (except for taste. I’ve yet to lick a book. Give me time.) The feel of the cover, the rustle of the pages as they are turned, the snap of flipping a page for the first time, the roughness of the edges if they are the torn style, the smooth edges if they are gold-tipped, the smell when you stick your nose right up into the binding, the beauty of the cover and binding… it’s almost spiritual.
When Borders closed up shop a few years ago, I was devastated. That was my local refuge from the home, from the demanding needs of my then infants, my escape into new worlds and experiences. Yes, there were books at Target, but that didn’t really count. There was no sense of the almost-holy when you walked through the aisles.
So when I heard that Face in a Book was opening up in Town Center (El Dorado Hills), a couple miles from my home, I was thrilled. And I’ve been a frequent visitor ever since. My children and I go there almost every weekend, and relish the calm, almost sanctuary-like feel of the space. It is tiny, very tiny, but it still imparts that hallowed feel you get when you are in the presence of so much knowledge just waiting to be ingested.
The owner has done a fantastic job of incorporating herself into the community, hosting local authors for book signings and readings, book clubs, and kid-friendly events. She also has a frequent buyer program (which I just cashed in) where you get ten dollars off after your tenth book purchase.
Prices are not discounted, so if you know what you want, and are willing to wait for it, I’m sure you will Amazon your purchases. And I do that, definitely. I also buy books for my Kindle on Amazon.
But I also buy books for my kids here, since I want them to experience what I did, growing up. The tangible pleasure of walking into a bookstore, seeing the visual beauty of all the possibilities in front of you, selecting, touching, feeling the weight of a book in your hands, then the joy that comes from purchasing and walking away with something that will give you hours of escape into your imagination.
Amazon can’t do that.
Face in a Book
4359 Town Center Blvd
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762