Friday, July 22, 2011

Reflections of a Book Worm

I am a bona fide book worm.

As a kid, I would spend hours in the library and take home as many books as my arms could carry.  I read anything by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Ronald Dahl, and yes, even the Babysitter Club series. I love the smell of books and the stillness of the library.  Big comfy chairs that ate you up as you let yourself get lost in a book.   I fondly remember strolling the shelves looking for another treasure yet to be found. Bookstores were my favorite layover past time. And used book sales?  I am like a kid in a candy store.

I received an email last night informing me Borders is going out of business.

I feel like I did the day Jim Henson died.

Is this the end of bookstores?  Is this beginning of the end of the printed book?  Is Barnes and Noble next?

I know I am the first to embrace technology and I love my Kindle.  It is nice to have hundreds of books at your fingertips without walking like a hunch back.  It nice to have open wall spaces with less clutter.  And I like saving trees.

I had a hard time letting go of film photography too, as I came into the field just as digital photography was skyrocketing. It just took me time to get used to the idea, as I am sure that I too, will adjust to the electronic book era.

Oh, but how I will miss the simple beauty of a book.

There is something magical about opening an older book.  The yellowed pages with the unique fonts. The smell and feel of the pages. The gentle sound of turning pages. The mark of a coffee stain, a tear or a raindrop. It is the cornucopia to the senses and it is something technology will never capture.
 
The bookstore will soon become a memory of the past. The inviting lighting.  The smell of coffee.  The rays of sunshine coming through the window.  The mutual respect of silence.  My haven of happiness.

Sometimes it is not the actual medium I want to hold on to but the feeling it evokes or represents.

Sigh.

Cheers to you, beautiful, cozy Borders bookstores.  You will be missed dearly by this book worm.