I am still always surprised with how much hope and promise going into a bookstore fills me with – even one that will soon be non-existent. We took a trip over to the soon to be closed Borders last weekend. The “going out of business” signs cluttered the ceilings and fixtures with a forlorn air as shoppers rushed to scoop up great deals – the line longer than I’ve seen at either Borders or Barnes and Noble in a long time. The saddest thing I realized about this trip was that I absolutely contributed it. I actually was making a list of books that I want to read (which I think topped at least 10 books that day) – but I was making that list to go home and purchase on my Kindle.
To be fair, the major reason for this was I still have textbook trade-in cash left on my Amazon account and was too broke to buy regular books to at the moment. I was actually pretty slow to get on the kindle bandwagon. I thought – no these are my books, I want to be able to hold them in my hands when I read! Smell them, bend the pages. Just as I was slow to jump on the iPod wagon. Who needs one of those, I thought. Ha, Ha!
But just as I did with the iPod, I do truly love my kindle. I love not having to hold it open when I’m reading in bed. I love that my cover has a built in light that feeds off of the kindle’s battery. I love that I can have multiple books on it and that the screen looks like an actual book.
But I also will always still love books…just as CDs will always have a fond place in my heart. Memories of stacked CDs cluttering the dining room table as my dad prepared his radio shows will always be a treasured memory and hold a soft spot for me. As will browsing through bookstores – with all the hope and promise of finding a new story to love.
And while after attending so many writers conferences and events over the last few years as well as doing publishing internships – I have had the “e-books vs regular books” “indie bookstores vs. chain bookstores vs. Amazon” conversation more times than I care to count – the truth of the matter is: Times are a changing. Embrace the ebooks or don’t. But the reality is that the way that we read is going to change and evolve quicker than we can imagine – and that’s exciting, scary and bittersweet all at the same time.
So goodbye Borders. Hello new chapter.