I just found out today that a Barns & Noble store near me is closing. It’s always sad to hear that. We have already lost two Borders book stores in our area. I thought they were just not doing well in the competition with B&N, but now even B&N is closing?! What’s wrong with Americans? We don’t read anymore?
I know with the Internet people get to information a lot easier and faster. That definitely has a great impact on the printing industry. We are getting used to receiving information fast and easy, and it becomes a fast food culture. They are just many many pieces of information filling us up, giving us little time to actually think about it. Books are solidification of knowledge and idea that have been carefully thoguht through, and tested with time. They are the gold that remains after the sands are blown away by the wind of time.
I cheered when the eReaders emerged, because they look so much similar to a book. The yellowish background, the black paint font. Also, it’s a pocket library. You can take as many books as you can read for your life. And the most important thing is, you can only read books. There is no games, or social networking applications that will distract you.
But iPads and Kindle Fires changed all these. The new toys are so fancy, that there are a million things that are more fun to do than reading a book. Even I can’t read a few chapters of an novel on an iPad without checking my emails and reply a few texts. I can just imagine how much an impact it will have to our next generation. I really wish I could do something to it, since I’m in the industry of building protection cases for these devices. I really do.
Book stores are going away. Maybe one day books will go away too. If we can’t save them, at least I hope there will be a new way for people to engage in a more sustained and more thoughtful immersion in reading, than today’s online browsing.