I grew up around books. Shelves and shelves of them. My dad is an avid reader, so is my brother. I have to admit that as a kid, I read a lot less than them, but books were always a part of the scenery. My wife has a masters degree in reading education, and when our daughter was born, she immediately had access to a huge library of my wife’s hand-me-downs from her classrooms. My kid’s had a book in her hand ever since she could grab one. While reading here at home is a huge part of her day to day, so is going to the bookstore.
We don’t have an independent store near our house, but there are several good ones here in Miami. We do however, have a big box bookstore. We spend a lot of time with our kids there, my daughter sees going to the bookstore as a reward. She walks the aisles looking for a book, the perfect book, to sit and read. She asks us to buy the books she likes, and when we can we do. My son who is three is headed down the same path. Books are important for learning. Whether they are digital, print, or who knows what other format people will read in 100 years from now, books are important. My daughter is entering first grade reading at a third grade level, and I hope that our trips to the bookstore had something to do with it.
That’s why I’m not a fan of the impending collapse of the brick and mortar bookselling industry. Frankly, I think it sucks. My kid’s kids won’t be able to walk the aisles at Amazon with them, finding the perfect book to take home. They won’t sit at the kid’s section and read about The Little Mermaid the Berenstein Bears. But, you can’t stop progress, and I understand the economic realities of the situation. But I don’t have to like it.
That’s why I came up with a little thing to at least show my support for physical books and bookstores: Buy a book at a bookstore day. On August 1st, even if you own a kindle, a nook, or an ipad, go pick something up at a store. If you have kids, go read with them and buy them a book. Go get a D&D book at your gaming book store instead of at Amazon.
It may sound silly, and there will always be libraries, yes (maybe), but bookstores are good. Authors can’t speak to you as guest speakers from Amazon’s checkout cart . Well, not yet anyway.
If you’d like to use it, I started the #buyatabookstoreday hash for twitter. So yeah, on August 1st, go buy a book at a bookstore. 🙂