Saturday, November 12, 2011

Where Have All the Bookstores Gone?

My grandkids, even the very youngest, a four year-old, are already tech savvy. The fifth grader has a cell phone, an iTouch and a Nook. The six year-old taught me to play Angry Birds on the iPad. So imagine my surprise when the girls begged for a trip to Barnes and Noble, the actual store, not the virtual one.
We had a sleep-over and Friday morning couldn’t come fast enough, they were that excited to shop for books. The younger girl, selected books she could read herself, including one titled, There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow. The older girl wanted big, thick scary mysteries she could sink her teeth into. I hate when a good book ends, she told me.

I was tempted to add a few more books to my own TBR list, but I already have stacks and stacks waiting to be read. Instead, I satisfied myself with a few hardcover journals. Browsing the shelves was a treat. The girls even turned down lunch so they could get back to the house and read.

The store was crowded with other shoppers and it got me thinking. If so many people still enjoy spending time in a bricks and mortar bookstore, why are they all closing? Remember Tower Records? A weekly trip to buy CDs was a given. And how about the video stores?

Online sales is now the way to go. I’m guilty myself. The huge selection and super-fast shipping on Amazon is tempting, especially when you don’t have to go out in the rain or snow. Still, there’s something really magical about wandering through the shelves and feeling the weight of a book in your hands. Even with the pluses of online shopping, it’s sad to see so many places we love disappear. I’m really glad the girls dragged me out yesterday. I’m not giving up my Kindle anytime soon, but I will be visiting the bookstore more often.

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Hales said...

We go to the library a lot because I can't afford to buy paper books for the teens like I wish. We do go to the store every few months or so and they add to their stash. Mine love to read and to shop for books. They also like to read on the computer too. I think stores wouldn't close if they were POD and offered things but I'm not into Marketing so I don't know.

Gale Stanley said...

The cost of YA books is outrageous. I spent quite a bit, but it's an occasional treat. When my kids were young they used the library a lot. I think you're on the right track. The bookstores have to change the way they market to keep up the times.