The large bookstore stood cold and empty. Shelves were loaded with books, magazines, CDs, sheet music, even textbooks and blank journals. The globe lighting hadn’t been turned on in months and the easy chairs scattered about sent up clouds of dust as I lowered my weary body.
The children’s section hadn’t heard laughter or the sound of tiny hands caressing the spine of a book or seen a face upturned in awe as a young storyteller spun yet another tale. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I’d brought the neighbor’s children here for story hour?
Stained coffee cups, small plates and soup bowls lay about the counters and tiny tables in the café. The place where I’d met friends and talked for hours and shared the names of favorite novels, critiqued each other’s writing, and waited with anticipation for the next author’s book signing.
The bookstore was a casualty of the times. For the past three years I’d watched a certain pattern. I’d enter the store with a list of ten novels I wanted to read and I’d be lucky to find one or two. Of course an employee would always offer to order the book for me but why bother? It was easier and cheaper for me to order online plus get free express shipping. The big box store on the internet had the bricks and mortar beat in every category.
The trend of e-books hasn’t been easy on bookstores, either. Yes, I, too have a Kindle but there’s nothing like the feel of a book in my hands. I love it. I want to write in a book, pass it along to a friend. Then she’ll write in it too and pass it along to someone else. Books keep people connected the same as bookstores. I love to hear, “Will you meet me at the bookstore?” How about you? Are you going to the bookstore soon and what do you expect to find there?