“What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul.” ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods
I can't imagine my life, let alone life itself, without a book or the comfort of out-facing spines peeking out from a shelf. This is the life and soul of what we book lovers are, live for, and what keeps us alive as readers, seekers and thinkers.
Books have always crawled into my life. I can, almost always, pin a book to a place, a time, a heartbreak, or even a person. Books are who we are - who I am. I truly never understood my love and passion for books until I was given an opportunity to shelve, pack and serve books to like minded (sometimes not very like minded) book lovers like myself. I all of a sudden had opinions, thoughts and favourites when it came to books. They made me fiercer, hungrier, and sharper with everything.
I find myself heading straight to a bookstore, any bookstore, if it holds tomes of choice, I head there - my personal compass. Books introduced me to my friends, my job and this blog - the Madonna.
The book trade has seen tough times, digital swooping in as the favourite sibling while Amazon plays bully to pestal mortor stores in the playground leaving no book and publisher without a piece of the pie uneaten. In swoops a fairy godmother and saves us all from our almost permanent woebegone expressions, and suffering in the trade.
Exclusive Books Rosebank launched to a full house of invite only guests with applause, and a gasp-point-oh-look-at-that expression. A store that spent many months under construction, no air con, no shelves, and no semi-decent books poking out from their shelves - they are repaying this struggle with temultuous rapture. A book lovers ecstacy is this store displaying french atrisan stationery, poofy bean-bags (that aren't just for the kids), wooden ladders, and all wafting with exciting chatter of customers dying to buy something.
This can usually be seen as an average store opening, but this is where Exclusive Books is showing it's rejunviation in the trade, after being taken over by consortium headed by CEO Benjamin Trisk, former MD of Exclusive Books. This store has shaken off the franchise of Seattle or Vida Cafe, but has now formed it's own coffee shop: EB Cafe, elbowed onto the already elegant Rosebank store. EB Cafe, a new chapter in coupling books and coffee. Offering locally based and roasted Legado Coffee in all ways possible (even variations of Chemex pour overs), a Burundi: Buhorwa, El Salvador: La Divina and an 'exclusive' Signature Blend, and surely when you havent had enough the Cafe also hosts a variety of homemade goodies; my personal favourite: the carrot cake with an amarula icing.
It surely sounds like a dream come true, but this store is something to be proud of, what a bookseller would envy, a bookstore chain to mimic and a lover of books (and coffee) something to enjoy.
Get down to Exclusive Books Rosebank, grab a coffee, settle in a bean bag, and find the book that will capture you more than the shelves pouring before you.