Thursday, December 17, 2009

So Sad!

A home without books is a body without soul. ~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

City of 230,000 is losing its only bookstore.

It just boggles my mind how a city that large doesn't have more than one bookstore. There aren't even any small, independent booksellers in the city. I don't believe I've ever lived in a city where there weren't multiple bookstores, most of which were small-timers.

When Deus Ex Machina had to travel for work this past year, he was staying in a similar community (southwestern border town). He went looking for a bookstore while he was there and told me that he had a hard time finding one. That surprised me at the time, and I'll admit that I was sketical, thinking he just didn't know where to look. Sometimes bookstores just don't have the biggest signs.

But ...

When we went on our honeymoon, we found no less than four independent bookstores within a reasonable driving distance of the hotel where we were staying.

And ...

In a 15-mile radius from my house, with a total population (in six communities) of just under 170,000 residents, we have seven independent bookstores that I can think of - one of which has a very niche audience and another that is only seasonal.

In fact, there's only one chain bookstore in my area (and it's thriving, too!).

It's just very sad to me, especially considering how I feel about books :).

The good news is that the city featured in the article, apparently, has a thriving public library system. I guess that's the silver lining.

It is books that are a key to the wide world. If you can't do anything else, read all that you can. ~~Jane Hamilton


  1. I love books as well. We have plenty of bookstores around here, but due to budget cuts, not much of a library. I would happily swap the big bookstore, for a well stocked library anyday.

  2. I would agree with you, except that I found even the smaller bookstores have a better selection of books than my library.

    Also, with very few exceptions, I prefer to own the book rather than borrow it.

    I guess I just think that communities should be working to support both - those people who make a living selling books, and those people who make a living shelving books ;).

    We need both, because we *need* books.

  3. Oh, I like that quote at the top! I agree with you on the subject of books; I recently did a post on my collection. I fear that real books (as opposed to things like Kindle) will begin to fall out of favor with most of society. An irreplaceable loss if it occurs.

  4. In my city of 100,000, there is exactly ONE book store, my country's version of... what do you Americans have? "Borders"? That kind of thing.

    For years I was horrified by how seemingly illiterate my city must be, based on the eveidence....until I started payng attention to second hand book stores. Of which there are 17, who (based on the six or so I browse regularly) all seem to be flourishing.

    I have no problem paying full price for books (because, hellooooooo, they're BOOKS) but it is interesting that the books I cherish most, the ones I turn to time and again, mostly to have entered my life with their spines already bent.

    And on a slightly different note, expanding on what edific rex mused about kin.dle... I tried reading (deliciously) FREE books on-line in the past, and hated every second of it, I don't think I ever managed to read so much as a full chapter of anything before giving up.

    But now that Kin.dle is being advertised so heavily, I half thought that maybe the technology has evolved enough that I could learn to love the screen, and I seriously thought about getting one. So I tested one in the store, and only managed to read three paragraphs before shoving it back at the sales person.

    I'm sorry, but a book isn't a book unless it's a BOOK. And I don't think I'm the only person who feels that way.