As I get older, the less I remember. Two years ago when I went hiking with a friend, she pointed and asked about a tree. Hell if I knew. She scoffed, “Weren’t you a forestry major?” You know what, bee-atch, that was more than ten years ago. I’ve had how many jobs since then? I spent two years in grad school, trying to pass a basic accounting class. The only memories my tiny brain retained from that summer of love was the name of the local watering hole, a handful of friends’ names (not even last names!), and that toilet paper is perfectly decomposable so feel free to use liberally. Tie TP ribbons onto tree branches and you’ll never get lost.
But I will distinctly remember growing up with bookstores: B. Daltons, Waldens, Borders, Barnes & Noble. My parents always allowed us to purchase one book. So yesterday, when I took a sick day from work, I headed to the Union Square Borders in the afternoon to roam the aisles. I picked up the Great Gatsby, read a few pages. I sought out Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. Reading makes me feel better, it calms me. Not reading on a computer, a kindle, or an iPad. But holding a book, reading paragraphs on paper, and turning the pages.
I don’t want bookstores to go away. I get anxious knowing that Borders has stopped paying some of their vendors to maintain liquidity. It was even more evident to see the sale signs in the store. Practically every book is discounted.
It’s awfully sad that one day, probably soon, there will be no more bookstores. Only our memories of them. Even worse, those memories will get pushed out my e-zines, twitter posts, and blogs.