As many have already noted, we were gratefully overwhelmed by the holiday crowds that came surging through Booksmith's aisles this season. I've heard many speculations about the cause of such overwhelming support from our community. Some say the e-book is not as popular as the media would suggest. Others say it is, and that is is because there are so few bookstores left that those of us still standing saw the crowds. Zoe thinks it's because Brookline harbors a secret crush on Booksmith. Based on the constant conversations I had and heard going on around me as I navigated the aisles this season, it sounded to me simply that people love books, and that perhaps we should not have been so surprised that they showed up to get them, for loved ones on their gift list, or for a quiet winter read.
"A written word is the choicest of relics..." Henry David Thoreau observes in Walden. "Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Books, the oldest and best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage. They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them."