It’s not a new concept — with iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and numerous other e-reader devices, the need for traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores is quickly declining. A book lover since birth, I haven’t been able to make the conversion yet to an e-reader; there’s something genuine and whole about reading a book in its traditional form. I’m even one of those people who loves the way certain books smell. (When it comes to books, I believe musty is good…)
However, I entered my hometown Border’s tonight only to realize that something was different, and it wasn’t simply that they had rearranged the store since the last time I had been there. There was a lot more space. There were a lot less shelves. There were a lot less books.
Even though I haven’t converted to an e-reader myself, I still have to hold myself responsible for the lack of available books. I can hardly justify spending $28.00 for the newest Jodi Picoult book at Border’s when I can buy it on Amazon for $14.28 with free super-saver shipping.
Leaving Borders, I was truly, truly sad. For years, I spent hours upon hours browsing bookshelves, reading sections of books, bargaining with my mom to buy me “just one more.” Now, once you purchase something on Amazon, ten more “recommended picks” will pop up for you. You don’t have to search the shelves, you simply have to click. It’s convenience and conventionality at its best.
From any of my previous posts, you can see that I love the Internet, social media, and all things technical that help move our communication along. I know e-books and e-textbooks are cheaper, more convenient, and often even interactive. I know it’s much easier to carry your Nook with all of your books available at the touch of your finger than it is to lug around a backpack full of textbooks. I know it’s easier to store your book collection in a digital library than in your bedroom. (I personally have three bookshelves in my bedroom, all of which are somewhat-obnoxiously overflowing with my beloved books.) I realize that digital is the future, and I’m simply being nostalgic about traditional books and bookstores. However, even the best app in the world cannot replace physically browsing book shelves. As our society continues to “move forward,” I believe it’s important to realize what we’re leaving behind…