Our local Waldenbooks is closing, is closed, it’s going away, gone. We are in a changing world where media has become available at the click of a mouse. I can’t say I don’t understand why the store has closed. Trends seem to make this inevitable especially in small town America. So, what to do?
We still have a library if you want a good book, and the library card is cheap! My kids love to go to the public library. They also loved to go to Waldenbooks, but those days are over. Our family has a Barnes & Noble account online, and we order books from Amazon, etc., but there is something about the tactile process of perusing a new book. It gives you time to get the idea of what it is about, it stimulates your imagination as you look at the cover art, and now we will have to drive several miles to get that opportunity. Sure there is a used bookstore in town; yes, there are new books at Walmart, but well, you know.
I grew up in a place where there was no bookstore. The library was “the bookstore” and it was a 15 mile drive one way, but my Mom took us there, often. I spent time in schools that had huge libraries compared to the middle school and elementary libraries my children attend today. My home has more books, on shelves, available to my two youngest kids than they have at their elementary school. So, what’s my point?
Waldenbooks has closed, and I think maybe the library might too! Oh it won’t happen all at once, but the Kindle and other handheld devices are bringing a slow death to the printed word. Is this bad? If the power goes out, yes! That will never happen: Haiti. Not every child has access to a Kindle nor can go to a Waldenbooks or Barnes & Noble, but for now they can go to the library. As we know there are more than books, there are computers hooked to the internet, and there are people. The greatest resource are the people. Hopefully, if a kid lives 15 miles away they have a mom, dad, grandparent, someone who will take them there, to the library. Hopefully.