With the growing popularity of the Kindle and Nook ereaders, it was only a matter of time before someone addressed the longevity of the actual, physical book. Thankfully, author Amy Stewart has provided us with a fictional offering called The Last Bookstore. Ironically, I’m reading this novel on my Kindle which, by the way, I have learned to like.
Books and Bookstores
The Last Bookstore is a tongue-in-cheek look at what happens to the booksellers and brick and mortar stores where those booksellers ply their trade. (NOTE: I will be writing a formal review of the book when I’ve finished reading it.)
As I was contemplating things on my morning commute, I realized that I was one of that dying breed of merchants – the bookseller. True in a couple of ways.
First off, I took a good long look at the bookshelves, closets, bags, and boxes in my house that contain books. I have at least one hundred books that I will never part with for a variety of reasons: they were given to me by someone special, the writing touched me in a profound way, the subject is something I love to read about (i.e., King Arthur, the Titanic), or the book(s) is written by an author I enjoy. So those books have now been separated from the others.
The remaining mountain of books I finally piled up next to my desk, fired up the computer, and logged in to Amazon.com. Once there I took on the role of, you guessed it, used bookseller. It’s took quite some time but I have finally listed over one hundred fifty books for sale. By the time I had listed the last book in my pile and pushed the three boxes where they rested into a corner and returned to my computer, I found that two of the newly listed books had already sold. My euphoria was instantaneous as I dutifully pulled out my padded envelopes and went through the process of preparing those books for shipping. The euphoria grew exponentially when the first payment was credited to my account. All of this happened back in mid-January and since then I have been selling at the rate of 3-4 books each week. I have also been able to take books from my to-read pile (about another 75 books high) and as I finish each one decide whether it is a keeper or if it gets listed.
Being an author in itself qualifies me as a bookseller. Okay. Mainly I write the book and hope that folks like you buy it. But if I hadn’t written the book in the first place then it wouldn’t be for sale. Right?
Therefore, on two counts I find that I am one of that dying breed (at least according to Amy Stewart’s story) known as booksellers.
So many folks now have ereaders. I would love to hear from those of you who own a Kindle or Nook; do you like it? love it? hate it? Those of you who wouldn’t be caught dead with an electronic reader: why do you prefer the old fashioned book?