By Lonnie Cruse
A lot of book stores have closed in the last decade. Small, independent book stores and large chain book stores. Metropolis, Illinois no longer has the small independent that was open when we moved here, and Paducah lost its Borders just last year. Sigh. What to do, what to do?
I don't mind buying books on the Internet, be they vintage and hard to find or brand new, but I far prefer walking into a book store and browsing, handling the books, seeing the cover for real as opposed to on my computer screen, smelling the fresh pages, flipping through to see what the book is about. Don't you? So what happens when more and more book stores close? Will we be forced to get all of our books online?
Yes, we can see the cover online. We can often even "flip pages" to see what's inside. That's helpful. But it's no where near like holding the physical book in our hands. I love the tote bag Books A Million carries that has a grocery list printed on the outside that reads something like this: Books, milk, bread, etc. Firmly putting books where they belong, on any shopping list . . . right on top!
I own an e-book reader and I love it. I love being able to carry multiple books in my purse without the weight. I love being able to buy a book late at night while laying in bed, simply by going online with the unit, finding it, purchasing and downloading it. But nothing can ever take the place of a physical book in my hands. Which is why I have four or five large book shelves in this house plus books in the closet, in baskets, on tables, and a box or two in the shed. Whew.
I don't know what the answer to this book store closing problem is. Maybe the number of readers IS down, yet I often hear people talking about what they are reading. Maybe the online option has taken much of the business from the brick and mortar people, yet I know others like to browse the book store as much as I do. Whatever the problem is, it will be a sad day if all book stores go out of business. Sad for those of us who like to browse, sit in the chairs that the store provides and take a better look at the books we've chosen, maybe even grab a cup of coffee if the store has that option, and just plain enjoy.
Book stores, both independent and chains, need our support if they are to stay in business. Just my $.02
Thanks for stopping by. Read any good books lately?