The Stories I’ll Tell My Children

On February 16, 2011, Borders filed for bankruptcy and announced it would begin closing its stores. My boyfriend and I were on our way to dinner last night, when we passed a Barnes & Noble. We started chatting about whether B&N would be around in 5 or 10 years. True, the Nook has helped the company turn the page (ha! pun!) on the business of selling publications, but how long will it be before we have no use for paper-bound books?

The thing is, I LOVE books. You should see how I live. I live in a 700 sq ft apartment with a man and a cat, yet I have managed to dedicate about half of the living room to books (my boyfriend is an avid reader so he doesn’t complain, and my cat is an avid climber, so it’s a win for him as well). I understand the convenience of having an e-reader, carrying around 100 books in my purse sounds like an appealing proposition to me as well. But for some reason, I just cant get myself to purchase one of these gadgets.

E-readers are to me what computers and AOL dial-up were to my grandmother. My granny loved the ‘old’ way of communicating, you know calling someone on the phone and chatting for a half hour, writing a letter and dropping it in the mail. Sure, she played solitaire on the computer from time to time, but never took to the idea of speaking to her friend Ms. Gloria in a chat room (remember when people actually spent their time in chat rooms? Boy I am getting old). That’s how I feel about the e-reader, sure I will dabble on a friend’s iPad (I ❤ crazy birds), but I can’t see myself reading digital books.

I know some of you are probably thinking, girl, get with the program! Don’t get caught on the wrong side of the digital divide! But.I.just.can’t. Divide be damned, here I stand. So with Borders closing (Googling my nearest NYC storefront, so I can buy a new tower for my kitty), I feel a bit sad. Bookstores (and God forbid traditional libraries) may one day just be a term I will have to explain to my children, when they interrupt one of my old lady ‘when I was your age’ stories with a quizzical, “Mom, what’s a bookstore?”

But thanks to Amazon, they will at least know what book means… I hope… damn that Kindle.

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