Friday, August 7, 2009

Another one bites the dust?

By Lonnie Cruse

I love getting coupons or sales notices from our local Borders and I've bought a lot of books there over time. So I was NOT happy to receive the latest e-mail notice from them: Borders in Paducah is closing! RIGHT NOW! Say what?

I had no idea. And I hate it when book stores close. Like the little book store in Metropolis that closed several years ago. Sigh.

I love books. I love the smell, the feel, the getting lost in the story, the . . . well . . . everything. And I do my best to support both Borders and BAM (also located in Paducah, and hopefully staying in business.)

From what I see/hear on the Internet, lots of independant book stores are closing as well. The economy is hitting everyone hard. And book lovers who can no longer afford to buy books are heading to local libraries in record numbers only to discover that libraries are taking hits too. Closing. OR staying open with new fees and new rules. Yikes.

Reading has been part of my life since . . . well, since I learned to read. My step-mom was a teacher and avid reader who encouraged me to read and even let me raid her own bookshelf and read books that were probably a bit old for me. FOREVER AMBER leapes to mind. I still remember that one. And I remember a day when I was pretty young, reading a book while riding in the car with her, and being so lost in the book that I jumped when she turned a corner just as the character in the book turned over in a canoe!

I read to my boys until they were old enough to read for themselves and all three of them still love to read. Ditto my grandchildren. I'm always sad when someone says they don't like to read or don't have time. Getting lost in a good book is one of the best escapes there is.

Is there an answer to this economy/book stores closing problem? If there is, I sure don't have it. But I'll do whatever I have to do to keep books in my life and encourage others to read. How about you? How are you getting your book fix? Buy? Check out from library? Borrow from willing friends?

I did make it to Borders before the store closed and cashed in on the 40% off sale, nabbing a copy of Sandra Dallas' PRAYERS FOR SALE in hardback. I'd borrowed a copy from the local library, loved it, and decided I wanted my own copy. Also got a cookbook about chocolate (okay, I'm slightly allergic, but as long as I eat in moderation . . . what? You don't think I can? Ha!) and a book for a friend in a series she's reading. Sadly, the store shelves were mighty empty when I got there, and I somehow missed the early warnings of this disaster. But I'm happy with my purchases. Just not with the store closing. Sigh.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I hate it when bookstores close. Especially the independents, but the big stores, too. It's too hard to browse for books online--easy to order there, but hard to find books when you don't know exactly what you want to read.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Sandra Parshall said...

Creatures 'n Crooks in Richmond, VA is closing at the end of September. I think that's the last remaining independent mystery bookstore in the state.

The recent Bowker report on book-buying habits shows that more people now buy books through the internet than through the major chains. And last year Amazon had more than 14% of the entire book market. As Elizabeth said, online ordering has convenience in its favor -- especially for busy people who have little time to shop -- but you miss the browsing experience, which is a great pleasure in itself (and usually causes me to buy more than I'd intended).

Lonnie Cruse said...

I confess, I buy a lot from Amazon and if it's an old book, ABE books. Still, I LOVE browsing book stores. Sigh.

Pattie T. said...

I must confess to being an avid online buyer, BUT I do continue to patronize both chain and independent bookstores by buying games, maps, magazines, and things other than just books.

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