Geeklings today I bought a book. A book book. A physical book. Not a digital straight to Gandalf the Kindle book. A book. With pages and that book smell and a cover I can see every time I put it down on my coffee table (or any other surface for that matter). A freakin’ book! And that made me sad…
Well not sad like the ending of the Wind Through The Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel (book 4.5 to be exact). I finished reading that this afternoon at lunch and I had totally forgot about that ending. Needless to say as I was getting ready to return to work that book slapped me right in the face with the feels. Hard. Choked up and everything. It also really helped to drive home how much I love that series. Always is a word associated with Harry Potter (and rightfully so) but I can’t help but use it when I think about the Dark Tower. That will always be the series for me. It’s everything I want in a book. Everything.
All that is besides the point. I was talking about how today I bought a book. A book. A book with a spine that cracks when you open it. A book. And that made me sad. Not sad that I bought a book though. I love books. I have tons of books. In fact it’s the amount of books that I own that made me make (accidental alliteration!) the switch to Gandalf the Kindle. There was a period not too long ago where I was moving… a lot. Like five times in two years or some silly shit like that. That’s a lot of moving. Do you guys know what’s heavy to move over and over again? Books. Books that you put in a bin and weigh a lot of pounds to the point where your friends tell you that if you move again they’re going to set fire to your books or to get a Kindle. So, I decided to make the transition to the digital world of reading, and I’ve loved it. I didn’t think I would but there was also a period of time where I thought of downloading music as a crime against humanity. The times they are a changing.
Back to this book I bought today. This physical manifestation of story that I can hold in my hand. For those of you who are curious it’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We didn’t make it to the midnight selling on Saturday (or early Sunday morning for those of you weirdos who think of it that way) because the closest book store, Barnes and Noble, was a bit too far to be traveling to that late at night. Just seemed to take a lot of energy. And that’s where the sadness comes in Geeklings.
There are no more book stores. I had to go to Target to buy a Harry Potter book. Something that sort of makes me feel dead and gross inside. There was a time where I worked at a Borders part time, and then briefly full time, but it was like working in heaven. A book store. I worked in a book store. There were books everywhere and the smells. Geeklings, the smells! I could spend hours there and I did. Not all of them were on the clock. I would go there and hang out and thumb my way through paperbacks (something I also did when I was bored working) or to talk with the woman who would become my eventual ex-wife. Yeah that’s right, we met at a book store that we both worked at. I always loved that part of the story.
Yet the book store is a dying breed, and I know full well that I’m part of the problem. I have lost track of how many books I download from Amazon directly to Gandalf the Kindle. The sales can be ridiculous (of course I want this book for $2.99! Ugh, take my money damn you) and the availability is enough to spoil you. I can finish a book tonight at 11:30 pm and download the book I’ll start tomorrow at 11:31 pm. I won’t have to wait until I make a trip to the book store. I have books at my finger tips, all the time, and it’s glorious but also dejecting.
I miss going to the book store and picking up books and reading the openings or the jackets. I miss feeling the covers or hearing the spines break. I miss the layout. Bookstores have become dated. Local bookstores tend to be more expensive, despite how much I want to give them local business, and the bigger chains are located near malls which take a bit of driving. I can go on Amazon from my favorite chair in my underwear while watching something on Netflix. Hello convenience!
Owning the physical copies of the Harry Potter books is a matter of pride for me, and I would only buy the physical copies of books that are important to me now, until I eventually download them on to Gandalf the Kindle for convince. It’s just I really missed that experience of running into a book store for a specific book and leaving an hour and a half later with a million other books on the To Buy List. Target shouldn’t be where we go to buy our books. That’s where we go for novelty t-shirts and cheap kitty litter. I want book stores to make a come back, but I know I’m only fooling myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go, but I’ll write down a list of the books I want to read so I can download or put them on my Wishlist later.
That makes me sad… (Side Note: I am super pumped to finally start reading this thing though! Hooray new Harry Potter book!)