I miss bookstores.
I know there are still bookstores around, but it's harder and harder to find one to actually spend time and browse in. When I find one, I make a point out of going in and I almost always buy SOMETHING, even if it's something small. The independents that are still struggling along deserve help to stay afloat, because at this point, they're the true believers. So I pay my tithe every time I enter.
Like I say, often it's something small. When in Manhattan, I try to get to the Strand just because it's the Strand. They don't need my help to stay afloat, really, but I like buying books in actual stores, browsing and succumbing to impulse. Two weeks ago, I bought a copy of Catcher in the Rye. Why? Well, I managed to skate the entire way through school, college, and grad school without it ever being on a reading list and I never got around to it.
I always suspected that it was something you had to read at a particular time in your life for it to hold real meaning, and now I'm halfway through, with my suspicions pretty much confirmed. Still, I'm enjoying the book because it has a sense of place for me. Amazon can put a smile on the box, but I won't ever think "hey, I got that when I was in NYC meeting with potential film investors."
Don't get me wrong, Amazon works. I use them. But I still like the real thing: a store stocked with knowledge and opinions inked on paper, staffed by an eclectic bunch of devotees.