Saturday, July 30, 2011
By now most of you know that Borders is going out of business. When I heard those words, it was a shot straight through my heart. *cries!* (Ironically, I'm writing this sitting in the Barnes and Noble Cafe. *Looks around with shifty eyes* Shh...) Yes, I've gone to the dark side. I think this will give Barnes and Noble the precedence to charge whatever they want for books since they will lack any major competition, therefore driving up the price of paper books and forcing people to mainstream towards E-readers. *cries more*
I am one of those old school girls who loves the feel of a new (or old!) book. I love the smell of the ink. I love to flip the pages knowing that you're the first one to do so. I love being able to hand off said books to friends. I love dog-eared pages. I love autographed books. I. Love. Books. The tangible, joy-inducing, wonder-creating books.
That being said, at this point I do not own an E-reader of any sort. The closest I've come to E-reading is reading a manuscript on my phone for a friend and reading Midnight Sun online. Totally not the same thing. I can't imagine the downfall of paper books. Just think! No bookstores, no libraries (with new books, anyway), no used book stores. All the joy will literally be sucked out of this god-forsaken planet.
There I said it.
I'm not entirely sure I can live without these books. I keep getting visions of post-apocalyptic empty bookshelves. They're haunting my dreams and keeping me up at night. It's similar to the book burnings that used to occur. (Remember that scene in The Day After Tomorrow where the librarians freak because they're burning the books? That's ME!)
Here comes the next conundrum. What will happen to agents? Publishers? The entire writing market? As this shift happens, we're cutting out the middleman, like we do with so many other things. My stomach is tying itself into knots just thinking about it. Don't get me wrong- I love technology. But I love books more.
Once I'd joked with a friend that I could be locked in Borders for weeks and never get tired of it. I'm really that much of a bookworm, but that's beside the point. I've written (count them!) FOUR manuscripts at Borders, right there in the little cafe (that's closed now.) I put myself through school in that cafe. I met there with friends and classmates, we shared memories. I knew the baristas, I knew how the books were classified.
And now, with the closing of Borders, I feel like I'm losing a good friend. So though I took advantage of the not so good sale, I'm truly going to miss it.
Now I'm sitting at Barnes and Noble and it's similar to Borders, but it's not the same. It feels wrong to me, distracting even. Maybe I'll get over it. Maybe I'll find a new place to write. But I know this, nothing will ever compare to that first place where I found my dream.
So goodbye Borders. This writer will miss you.
All the best,