Friday, July 22, 2011

Topic Of The Day: Bookstores--A Thing Of The Past?

Our small town is losing its Borders bookstore and its Christian bookstore, both in the same month. They are the only two in our community.

Our town's not the only one who is losing its stores. For months, brick and mortar bookstores have been closing across our nation. One by one, we've watched them fall, overtaken by huge online corporations, electronic books and a sick economy. How far will it go? Will we one day remember libraries with fondness and tell our grandchildren and great grandchildren how wonderful it once was to stoll along aisles of bookshelves where we could choose anyone we wanted? Will we have to explain what it feels like to curl up in a chair with a good old fashioned book?

I'm sad. Each Mom and Pop store represents people who invested time, money and their hearts into their business. Employees lose jobs and communities lose a place where they can connect.

In the Bible, God speaks often about how important it is for people to gather together. And I don't think He's talking just about churches, but all sorts of locals where we join others and are linked because of similar interests. I've been talking to people in my community who are stunned and they're asking, "What happens now?"

As long as I can remember I've loved books, real books made with paper and ink, not some hand-held device with the image of a book. I love the smell and feel of books. I make notations in some and the best ones I keep to read again.

The trend toward electonic books has come too far to stop. For centuries, books have been treasured, but in this quickly evolving world we seem willing to release one of mankind's most precious creations with barely a blink of the eye.

Convenience sucked us in. It's so easy to simply click a button and either instantly download a book or wait for it to arrive in the mail. Will real books go the way of our bookstores? What will we do when there are no more real books?

Have you thought about where you'll get your next Bible? What will happen when we can no longer hold a Bible in our hand, write notes in the margins and highlight special portions of scripture? I can't imagine a world like that.

I usually write posts that are uplifting and encouraging. And although the changes in the book world are hard for me to take, I don't think books are going to disappear. We will always have them in one form or another. I'm just going to miss the old fashioned bookstores along with the old fashioned books.

For now, I'm hanging on to my books and I'll share them. And although it will no longer be possible for me to drive into town and wander through my two favorite bookstores I'm continuing to do well without an electronic book.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. I know what ya mean,
    it is a sad day! I love books and could spend hours in a book store!

  2. We understand each other. It's got to be the worst if you own or work in a store. I've always thought that if I wasn't writing books I'd want to work in a bookstore or a library. I love books.

    Bless you.

  3. Amen. I'm still lucky enough to have several bookstores in my city. The Christian bookstore has been thriving for over twenty years. I LOVE browsing there, discovering new authors I haven't met before though I do alot of research online before I go too. And how could you buy a bible without being able to feel it? The weight, the thickness of the pages, the softness of the cover. Those are HUGE selling points for me. LOL.

    I have an independent bookstore close to where I live and use them for all my other book buying. Even if I know the big block store has a copy of the book I want I'll suppor my independent retailer by having him order it in. I love the personal touch and family vibe of the store.

    I haven't read a downloaded book yet. Don't have a kindle and don't plan too. I'm tied to technology too much already and I LOVE my rows of books on their shelves. Better than wallpaper!

  4. Kav, so happy to hear from another book lover. And I pray there are lots more out there who support their local bookstores.

    I absolutely agree books on a shelf are always better than wall paper. : - )

    Bless you.

  5. Anonymous2:41 PM

    It is so nice to see that I am not alone in my "old fashioned" ways! :) The Borders near me is closing and I do feel an actual loss of something that will probably never be replaced. I love looking at my bookshelves and remembering the characters that are alive on the pages inside. I am 26 years old and have no desire to lose the experience of holding a book in my hands, no matter what technology deems as 'more convenient'. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing your thoughts on this topic because it is one that has been on my heart and mind for awhile now. I am happy to hear that at least one author hasn't been pulled into the craze yet!

    God Bless,
    Rochester, NY

  6. Amber, so glad to meet another book lover. You're right--there is something special about an actual book. The ebooks are just not the same.

    And I like "old fashioned". I'm sure there are lots of us in this world.

    Grace and peace to you.