Where have all the bookstores gone? Today marked the beginning of the end of Borders, which follows on the heals of Books-a-Million closing last year. To say that our family is heartbroken is putting it mildly.
I realize that online stores (Amazon) and personal readers (Kindles, etc.) make it all too easy to purchase and/or download a book, and before I go any further, let me just say that I use both. The one-click order button on Amazon is my best friend, and on our recent two week road trip I appreciated the convenience of carrying a kindle.
But never ever did I think they would totally replace the corner bookstore.
For our family, Sunday afternoons were all about browsing in a bookstore. We particularly liked Books-a-Million, and upon entering we all scattered to our favorite sections: Joe went to the sports section, I went to the travel and cooking, Timothy went to play with the Thomas trains, and Nicholas and Jonathan lounged in the young adult section.
We spent at least an hour browsing, walking around until a title, or a front cover, or even the color of book spine made us pause. We looked through giant coffee table books, browsed through the gift section, purchased a hot chocolate. The cashier knew us and we became friends with her.
And now, even Borders is closing. I walked in there yesterday, but had to leave; it was just too sad watching people swarm in and take advantage of the liquidation sale. My friend said it was as if vultures had descended, and watching everyone picking, grabbing and discarding, it was a good description.
This afternoon, borrowing the tune of Peter, Paul, and Mary's Where Have all the Flowers Gone, I posted the following on facebook:
Where have all the bookstores gone? Long time missing them. Where have all the bookstores gone, from long time ago? Where have all the bookstores gone? Out of business everyone. When will they ever return, when will they ever return?
Can you tell I am more than a little nostalgic?
Now pardon me while I go grab a worn copy of Jane Eyre (I love that book!) and curl up in a corner to read. I might even need a box of tissues.