I’ve been in the U.S. for almost a week now, and so far I’ve been to my favorite used bookstore and to the library (*cough* twice). Which is all great, because I’ve been able to find a few books that I was looking for for my daughter as well as check out a book that I had been wanting to read. But. You knew there was a ‘but’ coming, right?
Where the heck are all the bookstores?
It’s not like I’m totally out of touch with the world of books and publishing. I keep a book blog, right? And it’s only been two years since I visited the U.S. previously, so I had seen how many of the smaller bookstores were closing and even some of the bigger ones, like Borders. But I could still visit my local Barnes & Noble and spend a dreamy couple of hours browsing, which I was planning to do this trip as well.
Only, my local Barnes & Noble is no longer there. As far as I can tell from Google maps, there are only three Barnes & Noble stores left in the greater Atlanta area, Honestly, I had no idea that the physical bookstore as we know it was so far on its way out. It’s not even that I’m such a champion of the big bookstore–I love my indies, too. But for an out-of-country visitor who just wants to gorge on books, books and more books, the big ones sure are a treat. They are also, it seems, a thing of the past.
I’m probably as much to blame for this situation as the next person. I buy and read mainly e-books, so I’m guessing most other people do now, too. But it still makes me sad that things have changed so much, so fast. I guess I want to have my cake and eat it, too. And it looks like I’ll be waiting until I’m back home to order a few books online that I’d been hoping to find in an actual store.