On Sunday Al and I found ourselves taking a trip to Borders in Garden City (Cranston) for old times sake and to check out the sales. I am always on the hunt for new books cheap for the boys. I have grown up going to Borders... even before it was Borders. Bassetts maybe? I can't even remember anymore. For reasons I can not explain, I have never been a fan of Barnes and Noble and go only when I have to.
I don't know what it was about Borders, but I always loved the atmosphere. There were times I spent over an hour just browsing the shelves whether I was buying or not. Catching up with an old friend over coffee. And while I have occasionally purchased books from Amazon, I still buy from the bookstore more often. Since the boys were born I am always in the bargain book bins getting a new children's book here and there. It's even the store I bought The Velveteen Rabbit book (with the soft to touch rabbits on the pages) for the Big Guy before he was born... which became the book he would make me read him over and over before he could speak.
We walked inside and I teared up. I know, who gets attached to a bookstore.
For a moment I could not speak. The place was crowded, the cafe was closed, fixtures were for sale and there were signs everywhere along with disheveled books. Not the way this place should look I kept thinking. I actually shut the sound of on my cell and took a few pictures, already composing the blog post in my head. Al on the other hand walked away from me as I started taking photos, whispering 'What are you doing!'
As a side note my Droid is going crazy. On it's last leg and even though the photos were there in the store at the time, they have since disappeared from my cell. Which is not new. My contract is up and I can finally get a new phone but Verizon is on strike. Because of course!
While most books are still only marked 25% off I still managed to find some excellent deals (from the bargain bins of course). What should have cost over $55 for four children's books (two of which were hardcover) I walked away after paying only $7. Seven.dollars. One to go with a present for my son's friend, one to put away for my honorary daughter (my godson to be's older sister) and two for the boys to read now. Not many people love a great deal more than me, but I looked at Al and said that price for the books sort of made me a little sick.
I really don't know why they can't keep this particular store open. It has always seemed to do well, be busy. It's part of a chain I know, but why not keep up the ones making the money. Al's theory is that the kindle and all the e-readers are killing bookstores, as well as the sites where books can be bought online.
Maybe I am old fashioned here, but when I finally someday write that book (as referenced on my Facebook bucket list from like 2007), I want it to come out in BOOK FORM! With binding and pages. Not something someone can just look up and read like they are on the computer. Well, no - I want that to be an option too, but I still want to see the actual book.
If kindles and the like are killing the bookstores, I can't help but think why is no one else thinking to the future. Like... stick with me here... if there's an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) and nothing works anymore... (because I'm sorry but it could totally happen and why am I the only one thinking about these things?!) ...then how will people read? For the love of God people!!! It would be like that Twilight zone episode where the guy is the last guy on Earth amid the rubble and is happy to have all the time in the world to read his books in peace - and then he smashes his glasses.
So...to recap. Years from now. No books. Everyone has a kindle or something.
Then what. (Aside from the fact that no cars work and my career in all things social media is dead.)
What happens then. Will no one save the books - and bookstores?! Because I know I don't want to wind up in a world that resembles anything like the people in that movie Idiocracy. Work with me here people!