Death of the Modern Bookstore
The other day, I got a coupon in my email offering 40% off a paperback book. Heck yeah! I’ll take a percentage off any day. Yes, I was extremely thrilled. I love to book shop.
So I get to the bookstore and, low and behold, the store was boarded over with signboards for the mall.
What can I say? I was crushed. Crushed.
To celebrate my first contract, I went to that particular bookstore and bought a copy of a book by a friend of mine. And here I stand outside of the bookstore wondering where I’m going to go to get books.
I know I could go online and get lots of books. I could invest in a handful of eBooks. Trust me, I love eBooks as much as paper books. But, there is just something fantastic about holding a paper book in hand and being able to smell the ink. Sounds strange? Maybe, but I don’t care.
There is something magical to me about heading to the library. I never know what I’ll find on the shelves. Just by looking at an intriguing cover, I figure I could be looking at my newest favorite author. The same thing happens when I have a coupon and go to the bookstore. I never know what book I plan to get when I walk in, but I know when I walk out that it’s time well spent.
Imagine my distress finding that my local bookstore was closed. I could always go to my local second-hand bookstore, which I love to haunt, or I could drive a few extra miles to go to the mega bookstore. Both are sound ideas, but there was still something nicer about going into town to the smaller store to shop for books.
Someone told me that people don’t want to read books. It’s too laborious or too boring, takes too long.
I was told they wanted eBooks, which is great since I wrote a couple, or they want something quick they can load into those pesky handheld gadgets. I get this, yet I don’t. Why? EBooks are great. You can read something, pause it without a physical bookmark, go back and reread, or you can just save and savor it.
I understand people are busy and they want convenience, but at the risk of obliterating a form of art? Books teach us things. Books open windows to worlds we have yet to discover. So why get rid of them for the sake of a microchip or a file on a computer? I realize not everyone likes to hold the written word in hand. Not me.
I like the crisp scent of a fresh book with tight binding where no one has come along before to bend the pages and the wonder the story beholds. There is a certain beauty in the smooth, unfettered pages just waiting to display the story.
I guess what it comes down to is this: I’m sad that when the times get tough, things that would make our lives better are the things that get cut first. You don’t need to spend a ton to explore a whole new world. All you need is 7.99 plus tax.