What is the fate of books today?

These e-book thingies are becoming more popular and Borders is closing. It’s like an apocalypse is about to take place in my literary life.

THE MACHINES ARE TAKING OVER!!! My brain screams each time that I see one of those horrid e-books. I mean, what enjoyment can you get out of an e-book? You open the case to face a blank screen that you then program to show you a story. That’s not an experience. An experience is taking down an old, dusty book from the large cabinet in the attic, blowing off the thick dust, and opening the cover to breathe in the musty air of mildewed pages that almost turn you away but instead your curiosity gets the better of you and you continue to turn the stiff, brittle pages until you get to the first word of the beginning of a story that grabs and takes hold of your attention and interest, not letting go until you’ve reached the end. It’s either that or entering a book store, purchasing a brand new novel that you can’t help but to caress the smooth pages of, and constantly stare at the amazing artwork on the cover. And every time that you open the book, you just have to deeply breathe in that new book smell.

Books were an adventure waiting to happen. It was a guarantee that you could travel to any place or realm and live any life. Although the same words and artwork are available on the e-reader, the experience is so different. When I finish I story, I enjoy closing the book. It gives a sense of finality to the experience. I tend to think, “That’s another one conquered!” With an e-book, this is not possible. You can close the cover of the case and think a similar thought, but when you are ready to read again, it is the same case that you open. But despite my sentiments towards these technological advancements in the literary area, people are still crazy for them. I wonder if this is one of the causes that pushed Borders to liquidation?

I will miss you Borders. You were a really great friend. I will definitely miss those 30% off coupons that you would send regularly (and the added 10% because I am (was) a Rewards member). Now I shall haunt the shelves of Barnes and Noble. I wonder if they are as generous with coupons like Borders?

There is one Barnes and Nobles that I really enjoy. It’s located in downtown Washington DC. It’s so cozy there. Downstairs is all magazines and travel books and novelty items for writers—nice pens and professional-looking journals that only professional-looking writers write in. But upstairs is the best. It’s books everywhere! There is a cozy little cafe up there as well with people reading, drawing, writing, teaching each other a foreign language, gossiping, gazing, or flirting with the eyes. Next to the cafe is a sunny section for the kids. I always feel playful as soon as I enter that section. I think it’s because of the sunniness from the lights. Towards the back (0n the way to the bathroom) are some tables where the young men always gather to play chess, I believe. I always want to check out what exactly they are doing back there but I’m too shy. But there is a board and they are moving pieces across it and those pieces do look like the ones used to play chess. Across the way from the cafe, behind the fiction, romance, western, fantasy, reference, graphic novels, and playwrights sections is the multimedia section with a variety of music and movies to choose from. I never go back there.

As soon as I get into that Barnes and Nobles store, I head straight for the children’s section to check what new fantasy novel I want to read. I’m a big kid so those kiddie stories of magic, adventure, and wonder definitely appeals to me. Sometimes I will sit in there and read while sipping on some tall, iced, chocolate drink. It’s the perfect substitute to Borders.

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