By now, just about everyone who loves books knows that Borders Bookstore has filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. So many people have posted some really insightful comments on what that means for publishers, authors, and the future of traditional books. No need to add my own thoughts there.
What do want to discuss how people feel about brick-and-mortar bookstore closings.
Like so many others did this week, I received the email that announced the closing of my local Borders. As soon as possible, I hurried to take advantage of the deep discounts that always go along with a closure. I walked out of the store with not only a huge bag of books, but also an incomparable sense of loss.
As I walked out, I realized that, no matter how many trips I made into that store to get some amazing deals, my trips were limited. The very thought felt surreal. Since that store opened almost two decades ago, it has played a crucial role in my life. It was the place where I bought my first Neil Gaiman novel (Neverwhere); the place I pre-ordered my Harry Potter books; the place my parents and I spend every December 26th, sipping warm drinks and hunting for a new fireplace read; the place where I went on more than one date. Hell, I even had more than one first kiss in that parking lot!
Because, for people like me, brick-and-mortar bookstores have their own element of romance. The romance of new stories, the romance of discovery. And as we lose those stores, we will surely lose some of that romance.
So please share some of your own thoughts: stories of bookstores you've loved, or maybe even reasons why the emerging world of electronic "bookstores" will still maintain the romance of the book.