I’ve just finished reading The Reading Promise which is a delightful memoir and also a paean to, you got it, reading. The book confirms one of my core beliefs: Reading can save your life.
Now, cue the Greek chorus wailing behind a lone, tattered and battered traveler on a desolate field of parched earth, broken and barren trees on the horizon. In the traveler’s hand is a book, whose cover appears to be well worn.
Upon hearing the news that Borders was going to shut down all its stores the above scene is what came to mind for me.
WHAT’S A READER TO DO???
We need stories, people! Not just movies and YouTube and electronicky gizmos. And we need our stories in a book. The beautiful, non-battery operated book.
So, granted, being a librarian with easy access to tons of books, I have not been the model customer of Borders. But I did my share, because you can’t give a library book to someone as a gift. I lined up at midnight for the Harry Potter books, I went to readings, I ponied up my $30 to be a super-duper rewards plus-erama Borders customer. I love to browse bookstores, new stores, used stores, cleaned-up or run down. Oh, the possibilities! And the magazines! And the coffee and smart check out line system.
There has already been plenty of speculation as to the reason(s) Borders couldn’t make it. The most distressing is that it is the beginning of the end of the book business.That simply can’t be good for us as a people.