Monday, February 28, 2011
Borders Closing, Technology and and life as a Brick and Mortar owner
As a business owner (and the owner of my brick and mortar building) my thoughts are filled with the publishers and banks that will not be paid, wondering what this means for authors and their royalties and for bookstores continuing to do business daily with these publishers and banks. I think of the people that are now without jobs and landlords faced with broken leases and empty buildings. I think of the communities where these stores had pushed out the small independent bookstores and how these towns and neighborhoods are now faced with not having a bookstore.
I still like to listen to vinyl records, I like the feel and smell of a real book when I read, when I walk my dog I prefer to listen to the sounds of the street and greeting people without having to remove an ear bud in order to hear their hellos. I don't like waiting on customers that are talking on their cell phones, listening to their Ipods or texting while expecting me to take care of them at the same time. (I actually had a woman "shush" me midsentence when she answered her cell phone and proceeded to discuss her friends party from the night before, I walked away and I did not win any customer service awards that day.)
The notion of e-books and how rapidly they are infiltrating our lives has left me astounded. On one hand I see how exciting this technolgy is but on the other I know that for myself I will always prefer to curl up with a book. I think there is room in this world for both.
I have to wonder how long it will be before someone like me will be on display at the Smithsonian next to the dinosaurs. Will I be sitting behind glass in a rocking chair, with a tea pot covered with a cosy, wearing very thick reading glasses as I hold a book? Will I be part of a field trip where the students stare in awe and ask what is that?