books, extinct?

Entering one of my favorite local haunts, Barnes and Noble, my eyes surveyed shelves and table tops that looked noticeably depleted. The nearby magazine racks on the other hand, were full to bursting with all manner of glossies. Walking alongside the long tables, I saw only handfuls of stacked books. But I felt better as I wandered through the next several aisles. The book shelves seemed well stocked; there were no empty spaces. 

There is speculation that the giant book store might be downsizing. The cashier helping me check out explained that an investor who owns 31% of the stock, may be purchasing more shares in an effort to take Barnes and Noble private. She thought the bigger stores might close down, but that our branch would remain intact. “Great news!” I said. “If it closed, where would my husband and I go on Saturday night?” We both laughed as I left.

With more and more people flocking to the internet to make their purchases, and the introduction of the e-book, print material is on its way to becoming archaic. Maybe because I had to walk a long distance to borrow library books which provided a welcome escape from my impoverished childhood, I still treasure them to this day. I take pleasure in perusing the covers, looking for a title that catches my fancy. Reading the description on the inside jacket may, or may not, clinch a sale.

Biographies are my favorite reading. Not only do I learn about the individual of whom the book is written, but I get a history lesson thrown in as a bonus. Events of the day provide the backdrop against which the story of a person’s life unfolds. Historical facts are so much more interesting when written around a central character. At least I think so. My husband thinks differently; he prefers history in its purest form, all facts.

For his birthday a couple of years ago, my daughter and I gave my husband a Sony e-book. It has become his constant companion, even resting by his bedside. (At my age, I don’t mind the competition.) As a result books, once beloved by him, are but a scant memory of olden days. Even driving to work my husband listens to audio books. I am proud to say that I still live in the literary past, for I love my collection of books:  medical, travel, biographies, novels, self-help, how-to and so on. Some were printed in the 30’s and others, even earlier. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

I’m passionate about antiques and vintage collectibles, so it’s not far-fetched that I would favor reading the old-fashioned way…books.

what’s your preference?…hugmamma.