While on vacation, touring Alaska, I checked out the bookstores in several cities. Not exactly surprising, many little towns we visited didn't have any, but I found the Hearthside Books in Juneau, and low and behold . . . I was thrilled to see that they had our own Kaki Warner's newest release.
Then yesterday I saw the very sad announcement that all Borders stores will be closing by September. Borders bankrupt? For good? Borders is . . . a giant. They can't be just a memory. I guess I figured there'd be some solution. The airlines and car industries go into bankruptcy every now and then and some solution is dreamed up to save them. I somehow just figured it'd all work out for Borders too. I guess not. I know it's not a fair comparison, but to a writer, the publishing industry and books are our livelihood. Borders is closing. Soon. So. Sad!
Now I'm an Amazon fan and love to save money as much as the next guy, but as a writer, I also spend the extra money and buy from Independent as well as chain bookstores. For a society that seems to trend more and more towards immediate gratification . . . this seems inconsistent. There are times when I don't want to wait for Amazon to ship me a book. Occasionally--not often--but occasionally, I'm an impulse buyer. Now I guess all my impulse book buying will have to be at Barns and Noble--or target or the grocery store.
Or is Borders demise a function of the increasing popularity of ebooks? Will ebooks take over some day and print books will go the way of vinyl records? Print books will just be memorabilia for collectors? How sad. Will the closing of Borders force people like me to buy Kindles and other E-readers to satisfy that instant gratification habit?
I know, I know. I shouldn't be surprised. People have been forecasting this for years. But still it makes me sad and leaves me feeling disconcerted and disoriented.
What are your thoughts?