Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reading. You know, like, books?

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.