The past couple of weeks has seen some very dismal stories about bookstores. Christian bookstores in particular. I would say in the last month or two I have heard of no less than 10 bookstores closing and that does not include what is happening at Family Christian bookstores. (no comment)
I watch the closing of these stores with a heavy heart. Yes they were our competition and yet we are all in this together. Other than the Family Christian, they are all mentioning lost sales to online purchases. One bookstore came right out and said that they don't think readers quite understand what that does to a local business when people stop shopping there and elect to shop online.
I don't know if they understand or not, but that is not what saddened me so much. I have loved bookstores almost as long as I have loved libraries. There is a special feel to a bookstore. It is almost as if time slows down and you are reminded to breathe again. To rest, to take your time and enjoy. Whether you come into a bookstore by yourself or with someone, it doesn't matter, books beg to be browsed not just grabbed and "put in the cart."
I think we are doing a disservice to our next generations who may never know the pleasure of wandering through aisles and aisles of books. What about the excitement of taking a book home as a child, a book that is yours alone and you never have to bring that back to the library and wait to borrow again it at a different date. It is also not the same as getting it in the mail. It is hard to explain but is just different.
There is something special about the bookstore around the corner. I am sure that is why I never liked the movie You Got Mail. To watch that beautiful little bookstore close just broke my heart. Even though in that movie, the neighborhood didn't really loose their bookstore, they just got something different, something not as neighborly. I have to admit, yes books will always be available in many different forms, but the bookstore, that is a special, magical, wonderful place.
I can't imagine America without any bookstores anywhere, but the rate we are going that may end up being our reality in the not to distant future. And that would be a very dismal future indeed.
Happy Reading and go to the bookstore. :-)