Monday, February 15, 2010

Bookstore Blues...

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. Though my husband had to work, we did manage to spend the afternoon and evening together - without children, even! ^-^ Thankfully we don't just use this one day of the year to set aside time together. Every day is special to us.

But that's not what I am going to blog about today. Instead a little tirade about bookstore closings in my area. :(

I’ve had a moment of doubt today about the popularity of all these different e-readers that are out on the market and it’s been bugging me so much that I felt a rant coming on. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that my e-books are far more accessible by a new group of people, but in the area I live, I think it has affected us in a negative way.

How many of us – readers and authors – has just taken the time to browse aisle after aisle of books in a local bookstore? Do you walk into a B&N or BAM and take a deep breath, inhaling the coffee and new book smell? How about looking at all the well crafted covers (and even some not so well done ones) or picking up a book to read the blurb or leaf through it?

Heaven? Right? (I know I’m not the only who feels this way)

Unfortunately, my access to this guilty pleasure has been severely limited. *sigh* Again, don’t get me wrong about this rant that I’m against electronic books. I love them, it’s how I make my living and love writing for e-publishers. I spend more money on e-books than print, however, many times there’s no other way to enjoy my some of my favorite authors except through print books. (Yes, I own an e-reader that I use often) Just don’t get me started on the policy of a series switching to hardbacks once it reaches a certain point. That’s for a different rant. lol

But here’s my own personal dilemma…

At Christmas I learned that the Waldenbooks in our mall was closing. That wasn’t too much of a surprise to me. There were emails and such floating around about Borders closing many of their stores and our Waldenbooks was a small store. That was fine. There’s a nice B&N right there in front of the mall.

*Pfft* That closed after Christmas. No warning that I know of and no one really knows why – I was in just before the new year. It was always a busy store when I visited and it’s in a great location and no competitors nearby. Also there goes the only place that sells my mint Frapachinos (spelling sucks). :( I would have rather them close one of the 4 Starbucks that are within a ½ mile radius – come on, 3 across the street from each other and one further down the road…is that really necessary?

Now, I will have to travel more than 40 miles for a Borders (not going to happen) and 25 miles for a BAM. How fair is that?

What about used bookstores, you ask? Well, I’ve found a good one that has a decent selection of the genre I like to read (mostly paranormal romance when it comes to mass market print books), but it’s a 40 minute drive to even get there and unless I need to go to the dentist *shiver* then I have no other reason to go to that area. *sigh* So, I’m on the search for a closer used bookstore via the computer, as places like Walmart and Target have such limited selection and not good for finding older released books. Guess I'm going to have to be forced to shop on the net.

So, has the e-reader boom caused a noticeable difference in your area?

Sorry, rant over. Now you can go back to your lives. *G*


Amanda Young said...

Unfortunately, our local Waldenbooks (all 3 of them) closed several years ago. Right around the time I was celebrating finally being published. We still have BAM & B&N, but the selection is so limited I rarely go in either one.

Kris said...

that is hard, i am sorry. I am lucky with my selection. My favored UBS is about 30 minutes away but I have a Borders 5 minutes from my house. Understand about print, I love my ebooks but sometimes you just want that print copy.

Anonymous said...

I had thought that all the Waldenbooks closed some time ago until I moved to this area so it was a nice little surprise because this one actually carried Gay Romance print books from Samhain. I think that's why I'm sad it closed.

Aah, to have a bookstore so close, Kris, I'd be in trouble - lol How'd your trip go on Saturday? :)

Tam said...

I live in Canada so not sure if it's different. I haven't noticed any book store closures here. We have a small book store in the little mall about 5 min. from me and a larger Chapters (Canadian version of B&N I guess) about 10-15 min. away. I rarely shop there because they have no GLBT section which is what I've been reading. I do like the atmosphere of bookstores though. But no closures.

Chris said...

I actually suspect it's related more to people ordering books online at Amazon or B&N, etc, more than to ebooks right now. I only know a few people here in meatspace who own ebook readers, but I know lots who order books online.

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