One of my rules, coming back to blogging, is to actually talk about stuff which I care about. No matter how trivial.
I collect books. Which means that I buy the puppies at garage sales and keep the good ones and sell the doubtful onwards. Basically I have a couple of thousand good books which have cost me nothing.
Now, to do that I have to have used bookstores who need stock.
Once in a while I clear the shelves of the buying mistakes I have made. Good books but not my cup of tea. I hop the buss with a couple of bags of books. Trade, sell, whatever.
I landed at my favorite used book dealer and, with a giant 50% off sign in his window I realized that this was a no sale environment.
Why? I’ll let Terry (not his real name) tell the story,
“Well the HST pretty much finished me. And I used to make money online but the postage rates got so high I had to eat them for my American customers. But mainly it is the Kindle.”
“Used to be that when a family went on vacation – which they sure are not doing thanks to the ferry fares, at least not here – they would come in and buy a bunch of novels and the kids would get some books. Now they upload them.”
“Terry” is not bitter. He loved the job and is now done. He’ll be fine.
The gradual passing of used bookstores, where the environment was about reading and about getting a deal is passing. The sheer tonnage of mysteries and romances – always outweighing books I might like to read – is entirely adaptable to the Kindle or IPad.
Which will still, sadly, mean the conversations and the easy sense of books as delightful will have passed. There is nothing delighful about asking the sales “lead” at Chapters for a book you might like. She, after all, started last week and read her last book at the end of her “Stucies” degree.