Thursday, July 10, 2008
Booking Through Thursday: Doomsday
One of my favorite bookstores burned down last weekend, and while I only got to visit there while I was on vacation, it made me stop and think.
What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?
Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?
I buy most of my books from Amazon. I love the advantages of free shipping and tax-free purchases. There's also something rather special about finding one of those smiling boxes sitting on my doorstop in the morning. If Amazon were no longer available, I'd switch to Barnes & Noble, Borders or Powell's -- all sites that I buy books from occasionally, but don't use as my primary source. So, sadly, Amazon would be easily replaced.
If something happened to my favorite brick and mortar bookstore, I would be utterly devastated. I don't shop there as much as I used to, but before the age of the Internet, it was a frequent destination. I still stop in whenever I'm in the area and/or if I have a coupon. This particular store opened around the time I entered the second grade, which is right at the time when my interest in reading was becoming the ardent love affair it is today. This store had an incredible influence on the person I am today, simply because it was there at the moment I became a lifetime reader. I can't count how many hours I spent roaming the children's and young adult sections. (Incidentally, I still visit the young adult section every time I visit. The shelves that used to tower over me now only come to my shoulders, but the feeling of awe I felt standing there as a child is still very much there.) If that store were no longer there, I don't know what I would do. It would be like losing part of myself. Unlike Amazon, I don't think this store could ever be replaced by another. There are just too many memories.