Yesterday I drove twenty minutes to a “major book store.” There is one that is closer, in the same major chain, but it doesn’t have a coffee shop and is quite small. I made the trek yesterday because I love buying colorful calendars after the first of the year when they go on sale for half price. There may be a little less selection than December, but I can usually find one or two that I enjoy.
Yesterday, January 2, the racks were almost totally bare. I don’t know if people are buying more calendars, or if the store did not stock as many to begin with, but I was very disappointed.
I took a little walk around the store and realized that it felt more like a typical box store than a book store. The front of the store was crowded with gifts, toys and after Christmas discounts. The store was designed for shoppers, not readers. I suppose that is fine, if that is the kind of store you want, but I felt uncomfortable. I wondered if the employees of the store actually read any of the books.
I support reading in any form. Even though I have not yet purchased an e-reader, if you are reading books electronically — enjoy! I will break down and buy one eventually. But I crave a store where I can go in and ask a question about books, and the clerk will be able to answer me, or find someone who can. I want to go in a book store and feel that I am in the presence of knowledge and ideas. I know such stores exist, and I will find them and support them.
I realize that I said last week that I would be blogging about journal writing. I will get back to it, but I had to get this off my chest.