In the strip center where I work, an independent bookstore recently opened. It makes me feel bad.
I’d like to support indie booksellers — owning your own bookstore sounds like a dream job — but they don’t carry anything I’m interested in. The front window has had a perpetual Twilight Saga display since they opened. I guess I could ask them to order me a book, but there’s no way they can offer the speed and price that Amazon does for book deliveries.
Like any good bookworm, I love the feel and smell of bound paper, but I don’t have room for the books I already own. Now I wait for an eBook version to appear of any book I want to read, and thanks to Project Gutenberg I have access to thousands of public domain classics. As our media have increasingly moved towards digital distribution, I have experienced extended spells of schadenfruede watching the record industry self-destruct.
Thinking about a future without bookstores just makes me sad. I guess sacrifices will have to be made as our culture makes the slow, painful transition to digital distribution. Still, I’m going to miss browsing the stacks of books at a well-stocked used bookstore much more than I’ve ever missed being able to go to a record store.