This month marks the 11th Anniversary of Dasa Books, my bookshop in Bangkok. Time flies by, indeed! Seems like only a few months ago that I was scrambling to find enough books to fill the shelves, and now we have over 17,000 books in stock, covering three floors of store space. And if we had the option, we could certainly expand to another floor; the books never stop.
And that’s a good thing; people are always coming in to sell or exchange books, so there is a healthy amount of interesting new titles being stocked every day. And the other good thing is that people are still reading books — and importantly from my perspective, they are still buying books. Despite all the doom and gloom about bookshops closing and customers “converting” to some sort of e-reader, I see tons of people still opting for real books. Thankfully, my business continues to grow each year, which gives me more confidence to keep stocking the shelves with more titles. In my mind, there is no such thing as “too many books.” Never enough is more like it!
I’ve learned a lot of about books over the past eleven years, particularly in areas that I didn’t know much about previously, such as children’s books. One of the most gratifying aspects of running a bookshop is seeing the new generation of kids enjoying books. You’ve got to love the parents that take the time to pass the love of reading on to their children. It’s so cool to see kids who get excited when they come to my shop and pick out books they want to read. There’s one little boy named Astor, who is six years old, but he’s already a veteran book buyer. He and his father David come in at least once a month and pick out a bunch of books to read. I listen to Astor as he reads out loud, and David will help explain any difficult words. Right now Astor is going through a dinosaur phase. It will be fun to see what strikes his fancy next year … or ten years from now. From what I’ve seen, once a child has developed a reading habit, it’s not something they stop.
So cheers to all the book-loving children and their supportive parents. Long may you read!