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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!