I love books, I always have; I love visiting librarys and even though I don’t buy like most that visit books stores I love being in there. There’s something special to me about them, something mystical being around so much knowledge; being surrounded by alchemy, things that have been created so many years ago. Being up close and personal to someone’s thoughts, their beliefs; all this offers a feeling nothing else can for me.
As Seth states books are coming to an end and so are book stores and library’s. Course you’ll have arguments of the opposite and while I sit at a book signing and watch people walk out with literally armfuls of newly purchased books it’s hard not to believe this statement above isn’t true.
Then all of a sudden a loud voice brings me back to reality; as I sit in the store promoting my book a lady proclaims ‘why would I buy anything here I just download them on my kindle!’ How she couldn’t realize herself and those around decide whether this store stays open with their purchases or not; how she doesn’t know authors depend on selling books to often eat or pay rent and so does that staff that works there, is beyond me.
However, what she did was state the truth, and however ignorant I bet there was a handful of people thinking the same thing. They go in there, look for new books and then find a cheaper platform to purchase them. Many stores have even banned phones so consumers won’t take a picture of a book and put it in amazons’ app to find the cheapest price possible.
I can’t say we’re entirely to blame though, in our generation we were punished by reading the dictionary or writing lines from it. The homework we complained about was a quiz on this book or that. And didn’t we all dread those book reports? Instead of using a book as a tool for knowledge or entertainment they were forced upon us, so now many people as adults don’t read them and why would they? As for the next generation, you’d be hard pressed to see a teen (or younger) with their face not in their phone, laptop or ipad. Do you think they’d actually pick up a book instead of something electronic?
The more I think about it the more sad it makes me; what will happen to libraries, used book stores and regular book stores. Now you see more items that aren’t books in these stores because they have to find a way to make a profit. When the next generation comes through not knowing how to flip a page I cringe to think what a library will look like if we still have them.
A friend recently gave me a book; I was so excited! I said I’ve been meaning to look into that book for months now, thank you so much. They replied, I hope it’s not too dirty, I found it in the recycling bin. That’s an entire different subject, course we’ve become a throwaway society, so you’ll have those that actually throw books away instead of pass them along to a friend, library or used book store.
When the few become less that visit places that actually have books in them, it’s hard for me to think about the future and wonder what will happen to this mystical place, this place that I love. What happens to the peaceful sound of silence as people sit and read in a library? What happens to used book stores that restore lost art and what do big book stores turn into?
Question that will likely be answered sooner than later, although something deep down can’t let me forget the optimist that resides in me. If we love something enough we almost always find a way to keep it going, to not just let it survive but to help it flourish. New book store owner will come along, we’ll have those people that revolutionize the industry, they’ll not only find a way to make it work but they’ll find a way to do it without electronics. We’ll have those that know how to run a company, know how to offer more, find a niche and continue to give artists a stage for their work. This is my dream, thinking about this turns my sadness into happiness. Books have been around for generations and I hope with every part of my soul that loves them, they’ll find a way to survive.
Smaller book stores that have been gracious enough to give my art a stage include: