Admittedly, I’m especially moved because I write books for a living. But few commercial endeavors have saddened me like this one.
Today, I visited our neighborhood Borders, which is closing. This is the spot where I wrote most of Boys Will Be Boys; the spot where my kids have purchased, oh, 40 percent of their books over the years; the spot where I go to check out other authors; to browse magazines; to gauge trends in the industry.
Where, here’s the unescapable gauge: Death.
I’m not sure what can be done here. A part of me wishes the Kindle (and its ilk) were never invented. On the other hand, it has people reading. And it doesn’t waste raw, natural materials. And it’s relatively inexpensive. But I happen to love books. Real books. The kind you hold, bend pages, skim through, mark up. They do it for me; bookstores do it for me. And not just the wholesome mom and pop shops of yesteryear. I love walking into a Borders or B&N and wasting hours.
Sadly, those days are coming to an end. Odds are my grandkids will never know what a bookstore is. They’ll hear about them, in the same way my dad speaks warmly of the automats in Brooklyn. It’s a new era—and for writers like myself, we either adjust or turn extinct.