Friday, October 19, 2012

The Sad Demise of the Bookstore

I understand it is cheaper to buy books online.  I understand that lots of people read books on their electronic devices and it is much easier for them.  Hell, I understand a lot of people don't read books at all.
But, as much as I understand all this, I will miss the bookstore.  The wandering around, the smell, the slow speed of "browsing" that I can't get anywhere else.  While electronic reading is easy, fast and much more mobile than dragging books with you - it robs you of the ability to go into a bookstore and discover something.
Tucked somewhere were the "staff pics" - where I was finally convinced to read "A Confederacy of Dunces".  There on a table of new non-fiction was were I saw "Steel, Guns & Germs" - and opened to read the blurb - and then read a fascinating story of human development.  Maybe you raced in to buy a magazine (which are now moving to electronic too) and you saw a copy of something you never knew - that's how I discovered Jack McDevitt, an author I loved now.  It's how I discovered John Varley with a signed first edition of Titan, which was being sold on sale, because he was brand new and had stopped by a store in Westwood.
I get that times change and progress happens.  And bookstores are the brick and mortar equivalent to black and white TV shows of the 2010s - but I will miss the hell out of them.  AND, I applaud New York and New Yorkers who (like London) can still manage to support multiple stores.
And "Fahrenheit 451" just won't be the same when it is "Fahrenheit 4,268" or what ever temperature a Kindle blows up at.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I Love Bookstores - nothing cheers me up more than the 5 floor Foyles on Charing Cross Road or Forbidden Planet!!