I miss buying books.
Oh, I still buy books. These days, I prefer reading e-books, so about 99% are digital. In fact, I have a very difficult time finishing a printed book. It gets left beside my bed or someplace else where I don’t think about it. The best books are those I have with me all the time on my e-reader of choice: my iPhone.
However, I went into a Barnes & Noble last week and stopped right inside where the tables of new releases are set up. Stacks of new mysteries, suspense, and thrillers beckoned. A table of young adult reads screamed Buy me! And I experienced a sudden nostalgia for my youth when I would enter a bookstore every couple of months searching for any new releases by my favorite authors. I devoured books, and the wait for the next story was interminable, building a deep longing until I found a new Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Robert A. Heinlein, or Edgar Rice Burroughs. Or in my middle-grade days, a new Tom Swift Jr. or Mr. Bass book.
What I miss is that anticipation. The wait. The hunt. The success!
And the anticipation didn’t end with the buy. It built all the way home, until I could finally find a quiet place, open my newest possession, and fall into a new and utterly fascinating world. Television couldn’t compete with the images these authors painted with words.
It’s just not the same with online buying, whether print or digital. Getting a new book in 60 seconds is great, but it comes with a price—a loss.
I stood in front of that table at Barnes & Noble, thumbing the gleaming covers, taking in the stimulating smell of ink, paper, and imagination, and felt the loss that it isn’t like it used to be.
Love to hear your thoughts on the changing world of buying books and reading.