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About meWell the economy hit, jobs changed and the family situation shifted pretty massively, but after nearly two years of not buying ANY books I have fallen off the wagon and started working nights at the B&N again.. Now I work at a "flagship" store, movin up in the world! The books are beginning to trickle in a few at a time.
Need more money dammit!!
About my libraryI see the purpose of my library as a collection of books the public libraries either never purchase, or are perpetually stolen. I also see this as a moment in history. As much as I love the presence of paper books, I believe their time in the limelight is limited.
I have spent years at both Borders and Barnes and Noble, and this year more than any other I have heard the customers comment too frequently in passing that they "don't really buy books anymore." More people than you would like to believe are happy reading their magazines online in daily doses, and haven't held a printed newspaper in years. As for the lack of book reading, I attribute that to overwhelming amounts of on-demand media, multiple computer households, and general internet addiction taking away from traditional armchair reading time.
A few days ago a group of kids came in and bought a small stack of manga and one of them said he'd give them to his sister when they were done because she won't read "the pdf." I'm a graphic designer on the side, so I know they meant to scan the books and share them, probably cutting the spines off to flatten the pages and then probably post the PDF online as well. I've seen these PDFs, CBRs, CBZs, all the digital pirates, and there are plenty of them. Quite frankly, sadly, when they're done correctly they look better than print, they look amazing. The colors leap off a backlit screen in ways they can't possibly be projected on paper. Then only thing standing in the way is the medium. Desktops aren't portable, laptops are still too bulky, iPhones are too small, and e-readers (as of 2008) just plain suck.
I feel that one day I will be telling my grandkids about the big box bookstores where people gathered, back when books were held and smelled, in the days before content was "accessed" instead. I don't know what will replace bookstores as community gathering spots, and it makes me wonder in a larger sense where community will be in twenty years or so when we're all virtually connected to people all over the planet in ways that make us closer to someone 3,000 miles away than to our next door neighbors. The romantics will say it ain't so, but the practical thinkers out there (call us cynics or pessimists if you must) know the change is already underway.
TO THE BOOKSTORE LOVERS:
From a bookwhore's perspective (they call us book "sellers" for PR reasons) I have to ask all of you to please be nice to your favorite retail book selling environment. This means please be polite when the cashiers push services, and please, PLEASE for the love of god stop strip mining the store and using it as an Amazon.com "previewing" service. Believe it or not, retail is not doing well and it might not be around forever. You have to support something if you want it to remain standing. Buy a cup of coffee, give an e-mail address, pay for a membership. Morale is dropping and the store is *not* thriving, even if it looks the same to you. Unless the business model is changed soon or the customers change their disrespectful habits, I can guarantee this will all go away.
GroupsEverything Illustration and Comic Art!
Favorite authorsNot set
Account typepublic, lifetime
Member sinceAug 2, 2006