Friday, July 22, 2011

The End of an Era?

Did you hear that Borders is closing it's doors?  I got a letter from the CEO in my email yesterday thanking me for my business and lamenting the fact that they could not find a buyer to pull them out of bankruptcy.  He also stated that besides the economy, one of the reasons for the failure of the business was the emerging e-book business.  How sad.  I wonder if this is a sign of things to come...the end of an era so to speak. 

I've thought a lot about e-books.  People have encouraged me to get an e-reader, especially when they see me reading my favorite 1000+ page paperbacks.  But for me, it would just ruin the experience.  I love everything about books.  I love the mystery of what's to be found between the pages of something I've yet to read.  I love falling in love with characters so much that I wish I could make them come to life so we could be friends, or lovers.  I love the agonizing feeling of finishing a book so good you wish it could go on forever.  I love the smell of a new book as you crack open the pages for the first time.  I love the feel of the well worn pages of a book that has been loved, and read a lot. The feel of the paper as you turn the page, the smell of the ink, the story and characters within and even the teasing synopsis on the flyleaf, I love everything about books.  

I have had a 46 year love affair with books that no e-reader could ever replace.  So, this new e-book business has me a little concerned.  I'm concerned that the e-books are so affordable that people will stop buying bound books, which leads to less books being printed, which leads to price hikes for printed books.  And I'm concerned it will force the price of old fashioned bound books so high as to make them unaffordable to us common folk. 

I hope I'm wrong.  I hope the e-books and the paper books can co-exist the same as their patrons do.  Each having their own unique experience with the written word.

Quote for the week:

"I cannot live without books."  ~Thomas Jefferson~