Our local bookstore is closing. I knew this sad event was taking place, but an e-mail from the bookstore’s national corporation in my inbox this morning simply made it more real. Ten days from today and the bookstore will be another empty storefront in a mall that is steadily declining into a massive building of empty storefronts.
After the holidays, an article in the newspaper announced the closing of two stores in our mall–a Hallmark store and the local bookstore, so this morning’s e-mail wasn’t a shock, but it brings about a sadness that’s hard to explain to others. The bookstore, part of a national chain, has been a part of our mall, our community for the past twenty-five years or so.
From the time I learned to read, libraries and bookstores have been two of my favorite places to hang out. When Hubby and I travel to one of the larger cities in our area, I look forward to stopping at bookstores that house coffee cafes in the corner of their stores. Do they realize how fortunate they are to have a tome lover’s paradise within their four walls?
After January 10th, our closest bookstore will be 40 minutes away. We can order online through Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, but it’s not the same. There’s something magical about walking into a bookstore and viewing the shelves and shelves of books waiting to be purchased. The smell of the paper, the feel of the embossed letter on the covers, flipping through the pages, reading the back cover blurb. You lose that experience when ordering online.
As a writer, I dreamed of doing a book signing at my local bookstore. I dreamed of walking into the store that has been a silent friend over the years, going to the Christian fiction shelves, and seeing my published novel alongside authors’ books whom I have read and admired.
During this morning’s devotional time, I read a verse that spoke to my heart:
So, due to a drop in consumer demographics, the bookstore is closing. Yes, I’ll miss the ability to wander the shelves in search of that book that makes me want to curl up in my chair and get lost in its pages. However, God will direct my steps as far as where my future published novels will be signed.
Goodbye, old friend. You will be missed.