Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I am mourning the loss of Borders book stores which are in the process of closing. I enjoyed going to Borders, spending unhurried time to browse new releases, classics, religion, the bargain shelves, to get LH his Wegman calendar, Lang cloth calendars for the kitchen (which when the year is done, is washed and then becomes a drying towel), maps for the countries we visited and guide books, and all the fun stuff in their stationary section.
I could spend hours in a book store and every time I entered one, I was like a kid in a candy store; full of wonder, delight, and it always made me feel good all over. Going to the bookstore has been a salve for a sore spirit. It's not a place to hurry, but to take time, to find the right read, and to happen on something you hadn't known about.
Even when I was a child and would take the "EL" into Chicago and meet my Aunt at Marshall Fields, we would always stop at Kroch & Brentano' - the forerunner to Borders. What joy would fill me to behold shelves and shelves of books and to find something special and wonderful to read.
Book stores have always been a place of wonderment for me. And alas, they are going away. And I am, mourning.
As much as I also enjoy Amazon, sometimes, you just want to hold the book and read the synopsis before purchasing it or run across a book you hadn't noticed before. Shopping Amazon is just not the same as wandering in and around a bookstore.
It is a sad time for me. No longer will I be able to just be in a bookstore surrounded by wisdom, advice, knowledge and imagination. The Library for me always felt stark and cold, but the bookstore was crammed with possibilities and always a purchase.
So, I grieve this passing. We have a Barnes & Noble fairly close by, but I wonder how long they will continue to be around.
I am intrigued by the Kindle, but love to hold my books, and use a lovely bookmark to mark my place. I have held off giving in to e-reading.
But now, now, I am confronted by it and I can no longer ignore it or hold off. Borders is closing. Bookstores may be a thing of the past. And I have to make an unexpected trip to Switzerland. How can I justify bringing along three books - size and weight - when there are so many weight and baggage restrictions imposed by the airlines? The Kindle is lightweight and small and can hold several books. It just makes sense.
And so while I mourn the closing of a great bookstore, I am stepping out into the future and ordering a Kindle. Hope I can figure it out before I leave the end of August. I hadn't planned on making such a purchase but the time seems right.
I hadn't planned on going to Switzerland but with the death of my last Aunt, the one who met me at the "EL" station and took me to Kroch & Brentano's Bookstore, and is the last of my father's siblings and last of that generation, I am going to her memorial service. And getting the Kindle almost seems fitting.

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