In this age of e-books and online reading, real books still matter. Margaret Fairman and Dan Gauss, Owners of Readers' Cove Used Books & Gallery in Deming, New Mexico said that the feeling of a real book in your hand will always be better for them than using an e-reader.
"Many people prefer to have an actual book in hand including a surprising number of young readers," they said. "[We] appreciate the convenience of e-readers when I'm on the go but when I'm at home and reading there is nothing like turning actual pages - no electricity required. There are also studies showing that comprehension and retention are improved when reading a physical book."
Equally surprising is the survival of independent and used bookstores in the age of Amazon. Perhaps it's because the physical environment of a bookstore, like the feel of a book, cannot be easily duplicated. And best of all, no two independent bookstores are alike. Reader's Cove has its own unique ambience.
"Our store is in an adobe house that dates to the early 1900's," they said. "It is wall to wall bookshelves with chairs for comfortable perusing of books. It is warm and cozy and many customers comment on how they love the 'smell of books'."
Readers' Cove Used Books & Gallery opened in 1996 and was purchased by the current owners in 2012. It has always been a work in progress.
"We have been adding to the extensive inventory ever since," Fairman and Gauss said. "I estimate we have around 60,000 books. We also order books for customers if they don't have internet access or find it more convenient to work with us."
The store stocks used books in every category: fiction, history, science, crafts and nature, to mention only a few. There also sections on Western history, New Mexico fiction and non-fiction, esoterica and new books from local authors. The gallery section of the store features photographs taken by Dan Gauss as well as other gift items. The pictures of Southwestern flora and fauna and activities appear on note cards, and on prints in various sizes. They are matted and framed, ready to be taken home and placed on walls as a memento of a New Mexico holiday.
Like all used bookstores, Reader's Cove takes its responsibilities as a repository and source of books seriously. The inventory of hard to find, out of print, used, and rare books is accessible to customers online. If customers can't find their book online, they can fill out an off-line search form and staff will search off-line inventory, other bookstores and book search services for the book.
Reader's Cove is regarded as the literary heart of Luna County and cherished by local residents. It also serves as an informal visitor center, and staff are a good source of information about restaurants and things to do in Deming and Luna County.