Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Remember Book Stores?

To quote the wise man Jerry Seinfeld, “A book store is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” Not a good thought when bookstores are closing at an alarming rate.
©photo by Leslie Johnson
I do realize we are witnessing a cosmic shift. Stores of knowledge and evidence of thought will come from other sources. I may be the last one to buy an E-reader, and last customer in the last physical bookstore when they close the door for the last time. I’d consider it an honor.
Maybe you can join me and, as we grow ancient together, we can tell of rainy afternoons when we discovered treasures that changes our lives. We can shuffle together past where it all happened, and marvel at a world that moved more slowly, because it took itself, and the turns it made, more seriously.
Bookstores and paper books will be props for period movies and plays. Like vinyl records and turntables.
No doubt many E-books will be cheaper and easier to make. Everyone will custom -make their own, which is what rainy afternoons will be for. They will laugh at how cumbersome it once was, before it’s all gone and a bit of nostalgia will be allowed in.
I’m nostalgic already. In this one and only way I am ahead of the curve.


  1. Hi, Mirka! I tagged you for Lucky Seven, if you are interested. The details are on my blog.

    I still buy hardcover books and the only shopping I like to do is spending the afternoon in a bookstore where I forget the world outside. But, I have to admit, I have an e-reader and I love it for travel. A week's vacation usually involved lugging a suitcase full of books and making a run to a local bookstore mid-week when I finished all that I'd brought with me. It's the ultimate in luxury for me to be able to order a new book right from my lounge chair.


  2. I don't have an e-reader either. And my favorite place to be (other than the library) is most definitely the book store! Book shopping is really the ONLY shopping that I enjoy.

  3. I still give most of my book buying business to my local bookstore, selfishly hoping to keep it in business. But I notice that lately it has fewer and fewer books available and more tchotches.

    I don't have an e-reader yet, either.

  4. I just got an ereader, but I will continue to read print books too and support my local book stores. One nice thing about print books is being able to buy one as a gift for someone and reading it yourself first. My mother did that and I and my daughter continue that tradition. :)

  5. This breaks my heart. I've always loved bookstores. My daughter loves them, too. Yet, all the ones by me have closed. This is just terrible in my mind. I do have a Kindle and I like ebooks, too, but nothing beats a physical book and walking down rows and rows of them. :(

  6. Goodness, this thought makes me sad! "Bookstores and paper books will be props for period movies and plays. Like vinyl records and turntables."

  7. I have a Kindle but use it mainly for market research and editing purposes. I have a hard time staying interested in a book read for pleasure on the Kindle. I think bookstores are closing for many other reasons than the competition from ebooks, like for instance, how the economy tanked a couple years ago. I still believe in the print book and in bookstores. I think that publishers who maintain a presence and relationships with strong independent bookstores will be right there to benefit as these indies make a rise. It may just be wishful thinking but that's what I believe about it.

  8. Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I refuse to believe print books are going to disappear in my lifetime (granted, I'm no spring chicken, so that may not be saying a lot). Because: the people who most want to buy books are the people who most love physical books.

    I'm not anti-ereader. I don't have one yet, but I probably will eventually. For ms. exchanges, for research, for portability and storage, they have wonderful advantages. But I have yet to find a novel I can "sink into" on the screen (I've done some reading on my phone). Reading on the screen is a different, shallower, more 2D experience, I've found.

    When the real books are gone, carry me out. The world will have passed me by, or I it.

  9. We have a small English bookstore in Seoul that we visit about once a month, the only place I can find new, pretty current picture books and chapter books for my kids. But I agree w/you. I LOVE browsing in bookstores and reading a physical book! Perhaps my great-great grand kids will ask me what a bookstore is. HA!

  10. Like Marcia, I don't think the printed book will ever disappear. But I see how useful and portable the e-readers are, and they certainly will be in our future ... probably sooner than later.