The era of the big box bookstore is coming to an end and I, for one, am saddened by this. Yes, I know they were big, bad corporate giants that came in and destroyed neighborhood bookstores and coffee shops, ending third places and stifling locally-owned businesses in many communities. All that’s true – and awful.
But at this point, the closing of your local Borders isn’t likely to mean that a locally-owned bookstore is going to spring up in its place. (Although I wish that would happen!) It’s really just going to drive more business to Amazon (or iTunes). Yes, I know they’re both big, bad corporations, so why should I care if people buy from Borders or Amazon?
Because I like bookstores – large and small. I like browsing. I like wandering the aisles and touching the books. Picking them up and feeling their weight. I like to pick an edition based on the way the pages feel in my hand. For me, buying a book is a tactile experience. Continue reading