So I found out today that the large bookstore five minutes from my house will be closed by the end of the week. We have one tiny independent used bookstore in town, and that's it. Now if I want to browse through new books, I'll have to drive half an hour to a neighboring town in order to buy them.
Is it sad that I sort of teared up a little when I found out the store would be closing? Probably, but I don't really care; first my favorite fabric shop went under, and now this. What the heck is a crafty English major supposed to do these days? I know, I know-- buy electronic books like everyone else. Well, I'm not having it. I like the feel of books, dang it, and noticing the little intricate details that go into making a book a work of art, like the typeface and the end papers. And I can't imagine being in the middle of a good passage and suddenly realizing I'm almost out of batteries.
Plus, there's the thrill of going into a bookstore and having no idea what kind of book you are going to leave with. You get to stalk up and down the aisles, waiting for the right novel to leap out at you from the shelves so you can pounce and make the kil-- take it up to the checkout counter. I refuse to confirm or deny whether or not I actually growl under my breath like a velociraptor while I'm hot on the trail of a good find.
I can't really imagine getting the same thrill from Amazon's "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" scrolling bar, even if I am ordering books in their non-electronic form.
This sort of thing always makes me worry that the printed book is going the way of the record and the tape deck and will be obsolete in twenty years. Yes, you still have record and (to a lesser extent) tape deck enthusiasts running around and you can still find old records and tapes in various antique stores and on eBay, but you don't really see a whole lot of stores selling new ones, now do you?
So like I said, I'm really sad to see it go-- Jer and I have spent many, many hours and probably ridiculous amounts of money in that store and we have many fond memories of it. We almost always end our dates side by side in a coffee shop with our books in hand, enjoying each others' quiet company. While we'll still end up doing the same, I guess we'll be spending a whole lot more time at the coffee shop with library books in hand. Either that or we'll be putting a few more miles on the car.
4 days ago