I recently read a story in the New York Times newspaper about the future of Barnes & Noble bookstores. It seems that this store is teetering on demise. Why? Oh, I don't know, blame it on the Kindles, Nooks and Amazon.com. Thanks to e-readers many people don't buy books anymore. They go to Amazon and download a book to their kindle or Nook. Barnes & Noble came out with it's Nook a couple of years ago, in an effort to stay compete with the popular Kindle. I don't know about e-readers. I could buy several books for the price of one e-reader. Somehow I just don't get that warm feeling about an e-reader that I do with books...something about the actual fingers turning the pages I guess. Or maybe it the heavy Bram Stoker book of five novels that I have read and also use as a weight when I exercise my arms. I love books. I love the smell of them, the artwork and the history of them. I've been made fun of in high school English class for reading some of the classics like Lorna Doone, Wuthering Heights and so on. I even got an embarrassing nickname thanks to them. Oswald is name the guys taunted me with in class. I got my revenge by getting "A"s on my book reports. They didn't. Turning the pages of those books took me places where no-one else could go. I've given away more books than I've kept. But they were all bought in a bookstore.
Where are the B. Dalton bookstores, or Crown Books? Borders Books went away last year. We can still buy books, hardback or paperback, at places like Walmart, Target and even some grocery stores. But their selection is limited. I can still go into Barnes & Noble and buy a book, or sit down and read one. And there are used or half-price book stores around. I could spend hours just looking at the selections of their books. I always seem to find one which will tweek my interest or bring back a memory. Barnes & Noble has stores in all 50 states. How many people do they employ? I don't know. Would they lose their jobs? Would the selection of books dwindle?
What would Andy Rooney say. I'm sure he would take notice of this and mention it. I miss Andy. The way things are going I wonder if people will miss bookstores? Sure technology improves things. Thanks to Nook and Kindle we don't have to worry about losing our book on an airplane. I guess we won't lose our place in the book when the bookmark falls out. After all, we aren't supposed to turn down the page corners, right? Those e-readers will remember the correct page, right?
Maybe one day I'll buy an e-reader and download a book from Amazon...or maybe not. I just like the feel of a book in my hand. Turning pages is, well, like life. I shudder to think that maybe one day there will be no bookstores. Of course cds made albums and record players disapear. Television is in color now, even in HD sometimes. What next? By the way, I bought two books today...just not at Barnes & Noble. I happened to be at Walmart and bought them. Sigh...
Monday, January 30, 2012