Saturday, March 14, 2009
Obsolescence: on Bookstores & Cds
I'd read that Virgin Megastore was closing, but somehow seeing the large 'STORE CLOSING' signs, on the same day I wandered into the ghost town that was the also-closing Stacey's Bookstore on Market St., was stunning. Despite how much I do online, I've been slow to accept that the traditional form of books and Cds are increasingly obsolete. In part, because I've always had such a love of print: liner notes, cover art and the experience that is relaxing and taking in words while turning pages have long been joys. I remember eagerly awaiting Bookmobile visits from a county library retrofitted van that chugged to the rural community in which I grew up. I'm not ancient, but that experience clearly belongs to another age, if its impression still lasts in my mind. Library visits, browsing aisles full of titles and listening to music while reading credits are all a source of inspiration and a sign of relaxation. So while I've been swimming—like billions of other people—in the sea change that is the Internet, I couldn't help but feel a sense of loss walking through the barren aisles of Stacey's Books yesterday, the consolation being that shoppers had quickly bought up all the sale books.