Books provide entertainment, information, and emotional escape. Today they can be found everywhere in various formats. Before the 1800s, books were available to the educated and the wealthy who had small libraries in their homes. Private book clubs called subscription or membership libraries were popular with the wealthy. They were funded by membership fees or donations. Books could be borrowed freely by members; nonmembers had to put up collateral to borrow a book.

Today people can read a book on electronic media or printed on paper with either a soft or hard cover to bind it into a book format. The readers who select the old-fashioned way love the feel of holding a book. They love the smell of the paper. They love the maps, diagrams, and pictures many books contain. They love when a book has a list of characters showing the lineage of a family. They love being able to decide what they will do with the book when they finish reading it; do they want to keep it, trade it, or sell it? They can also donate them to a thrift store, senior citizen center, or nursing home so others can enjoy them. Electronic books are the choice for most young people, but the not so young have discovered this modern access to books user-friendly. Selections are as numerous as in a brick-and-mortar store. Best sellers are usually downloaded for a fee, but older books along with some new releases are available free. For those who would rather have a book read to them, books-on-tape can be purchased or rented.

Avid readers love to visit a bookstore just for the warm fuzzy feeling they get when surrounded by books. For others though, walking into a bookstore can be overwhelming. Before them are continuous rows of never-ending books. No worries; the bookstore is set up with the customer in mind. There are tables suggesting books to read at the beach or on a cruise (they are light reading and romance novels). Travel books on almost any country featuring exotic places to venture to in pursuit of warmer or cooler temperatures are grouped together. Cookbooks full of quick and easy dishes, backyard BBQ recipes, and entertainment ideas are strategically displayed usually by the bookstore café. The novice gardener can find books full of tips on when, where, and what to plant. Gardeners or want-to-be gardeners can find information on organic vegetable gardens and organic pest control. The same goes for those who are interested in planting a flower garden. For animal lovers, there is a book about their favorite that covers everything they need to know from A to Z. Sports enthusiasts will find an abundance of books covering famous people in their sport, the history of the sport, how to play the sport, the rules of the sport, etc. History lovers can find books on the time period that holds their interest. Whatever the topic, a bookstore will have it covered!

Let’s not forget about the public library. This is a great way to read a book for free! Be prepared though to add your name to a waiting list for that just released best seller. This is a great option if you have patience and will power. Then, you can spend the money you saved by not buying the book on your favorite things to snack on while you’re reading.

Get lost in the characters of the latest best seller, and leave your worries behind!

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