Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Store Where Are You?

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 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...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Out With the Old and In With the New

Happy New Year! I certainly hope this year is better than 2011 was. I would like to forget most of that year and look forward to better things cause 2011 was not very kind to us. Jimmy was out of work for about nine months. We had to scrimp, beg and borrow just to make ends meet. That was not fun at all.

Now he has a new job making some good money with a plumbing company. But would you believe that on the 2nd of December just as we were about to catch up on things and look forward, he work van was stolen out of our parking lot! That was a blow because all his tools and equipment were stolen. That was several thousand dollars lost. Of course the insurance company will pay for some of it but we won't get the full value of things. Jimmy was heartbroken because some of the tools were his dad's and are no longer made. He was really upset too, because a tool set that I gave him for Christmas the first year we were married was part of the loss too. We are still waiting for word from the insurance company. Who knows how long that will take.

We lost two friends late in 2011. Jimmy's best friend died of throat cancer. It was sad to see a big man reduced to a shell of himself. Then we lost our dog Rowdy. He was only 11 years old. We took him to the vet but were told they would have to put him in the hospital for a couple of days but they could not say for sure if he would survive. And when we were told he would have to be by himself, we decided to take him home and let him die surrounded by family. Now he is with Lady in doggie Heaven.

On the bright side Jimmy's daughter surprised us with another puppy for Christmas. We really didn't want another dog so soon and certainly not a puppy. We thought we'd wait a while and get another dachshund about six months old. But Daisy looked so lonely. We could tell that she was lost without Rowdy. That is when Amanda surprised us with an 8 week old puppy named Ginger. She got her at a local animal shelter. Though she is not a dachshund like we wanted she is cute. But she is so tiny. I am always afraid I'll step on her. The papers the animal shelter gave us said she is a chihuahua. I guess I'll get used to her. I've never really wanted a dog of this breed, but I will not send her back. As long as she gets along with Daisy we'll keep her. She is already growing on us. We'll just have to wait for another dachshund later.

Hopefully this year will have more happiness and be better for us. I'm going to try to look forward to better times. As the baseball player Satchel Paige once said, "Never look back, something could be gaining on you". So, onward through the fog to a happy new year to us all. Right?