This picture reminds me that objects farther away are reduced in impact on the eye. If your town has no bookstore, especially if it has recently lost a bookstore, you may be thinking books are going the way of the buggy whip. Bookstores outside your town limits can look far away and powerelss.
But I still think we readers have nothing to fear about the state of books. I was struck this morning by two stories in particular (highlighted by the Shelf Awareness e-newsletter I read daily) that show we book lovers are alive and well.
- The Borders-owned Waldenbooks closed its shop in Wasilla, Alaska, but within a month it is now a store called Buy the Book, and a customer has contributed $25,000 to help with start-up and operation expenses. Who knows if that donor will ever get the money back, but Wasilla will have a place people can gather and buy/talk books closer than the next nearest bookstore 40 miles away in Anchorage. You can read that article by clicking here.
- An “Occupy Wall Street Library” germinated serendipitously to entertain people whether or not they are there as protestors. You can read about that here.
It’s true that electronic books (e-books) are rising in popularity, but I believe they will have a place alongside other forms of books. I have a Kindle next to my bed, and I leave it there. I purchase books for it that I think I won’t need to search back and forth through for names or reminders as I read. I purchase bound books that I think of as budding classics or that I predict will have me flipping around for various reasons. I have a bound book in my purse, currently three bound books next to my reading chair, and a bound book in the bathroom.
I used to read only one book at a time. Now that I’m devoting more time to reading, however, I find that I’m excited by having a variety going simultaneously. Reading habits can change, and I’ve been thrilled to watch mine expand as they have. The more I read, the more I’m capable and desirous of reading. If this is something that comes with aging, bring it on! And the more boomers leave the intense workweeks behind, the more reading is going to get done. For me, the trees in the foreground represent the books in my future.