i buy books. not quite as many as i used to but its still my most favorite thing to shop for. i have had a long running love affair with bookstores.
i remember going down the staircase at kroch's & brentano's at randhurst when i was wee. i knew my way around that store as well as any of the employees - some of whom i would later work with at borders. oh borders - i spent 5 really great years there. and with all the news about borders, i've been thinking about bookstores a lot.
i now live in a city with one of the greatest bookstores i've ever been to. powell's is amazing. i've probably gone to powell's once a week since we moved. and honestly, the presence of powell's was a huge point in portland's favor when thinking about moving here.
but as much as i love books and bookstores, i have been thinking about a kindle for a long time. even my mom, who is a devoted book lover, has one now. as much as she loves books, she is enviromentally and fiscally minded - and the kindle is appealing for those reasons.
but i love books. i love the weight in your hands, the smell when you first open it. i love the act of turning the page. i often use the receipt from buying the book as a bookmark but i also really love dogearing pages. and still, i get why the kindle is a good idea.
i know i'm not the only book lover who feels that way because bookstores are hurting. even powell's had to lay off 31 employees recently. so i have this ongoing argument with myself over it. my emotional attachement to books and bookstores vs. the practical. and since i haven't yet given in to the practical, i go to powell's for my fix.
when we made the decision to move to portland, i remembered that an author i really enjoy, chelsea cain, lives here. she writes dark, twisty thrillers featuring an absolutely terrifying female serial killer. i got really excited because i knew she does events at powell's so i decided i'd go when her new book came out.
the night season came out on tuesday and she was doing a signing at powell's that night. i don't think i've been to a signing since i actually worked at a bookstore. i was reminded of all the reasons why bookstores are magic. i knew that this was an experience that i could never have buying a book online. now i know that chelsea cain is funny. and super nice. she told me she liked my hair - when has amazon EVER done that? and if i had a kindle, i wouldn't have this...
a book with a hilarious inscription (possibly not to everyone but my mom and those close to me will understand) and a bedazzled safety whistle. yeah. i'm sticking with books and bookstores for the time being.