Fahrenheit 451: The Demise of the Bookstore and So Much More

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At first I was surprised. I parked and got within 3 feet of the doorway before I realized Bookstar was closed and empty. It seemed a bit surreal, I mean I'd just been there a few days before Christmas and this store had been open for years and years, the closest one to my house. Yes, it was a chain, but the independents have been few in this state, and a chain store is better than no bookstore at all.Then came the news of the Borders closings, and I realized we were up against a much bigger debacle than I'd realized. Look what happened with Virgin and Wherehouse, said the little voice in my head. Wake up, lady. This touchy-feely have to hold the album - book - CD - DVD - magazine in my hand thing is going going gone. Don't you know it's the digital age?  Everything's electronic, everything's instant, get a Kindle and stop hauling around cartons of books.  Welcome to the 21st Century. Don't be a fuddy duddy, get hip, be cool, make sense. Who needs that stuff?All of us, even though many of us don't know it. I have grown up in bookstores, all over America, and so have my children, and so many of my friends.

I simply can't  imagine what life will be like if there's no more bookstores to walk into, browse through, touch the covers, read a couple of pages to be sure reader and writer are compatible, feel the thrill of seeing a book you know you're going to love, just sitting there waiting for you -- and if you hadn't walked in and seen it, you'd have never known it was out there. Bookstores are a treasure trove, a sanctuary, a place to go for solace as much as inspiration. Places that still are a small oasis of civility, with companionship and like-minded people who are in love with words.
I went into Borders during their closing sale and I found I couldn't buy anything. I wandered around the store, which in three days already looked shabby, uncared-for and rifled through. I picked up a book or two here and there but put them back down and ambled on. There were a lot of people that I usually don't see in the store, grabbing books and talking loudly. When I passed the children's section, my eye fell upon a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, lying on the floor, its cover marred  by a bootprint.  I picked it up and sat it up on a high shelf, out of harm's way. It didn't deserve this.  I found myself blinking back tears. None of us deserve this.I hurried out of the store and didn't look back.
What is termed "progress" is trampling my dreams. Yours, too.
Sadly,
Raven