Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Changing Landscape

Wow, do I miss real bookstores...

Long gone are the days of going into a mom and pop bookstore that smelled of fresh books and used books.  Its a childhood memory now that I wouldn't mind smelling again (as strange as that sounds). 

The town I grew up in had one of these stores and it survived for a long time until it finally closed and became the Youth Center for the Library across the street.  I also spent a great deal of my childhood in that library.  The Good Times Bookstore closed in 2006 and had been open for 34 years.  It was a well known used book store.

It's a strange feeling to look at today's world and realize just how drastically and rapidly our landscape is changing.  When the US went into recession and depression I watched all the gas stations close as gas became too expensive for people to buy excessively and the small stations couldn't survive.  I also witnessed whole car lot areas become completely vacant and they have not bounced back.  I have seen some gas stations change names as one company buys out another, but I have yet to see abandoned stations open or new ones appear.  The car lots are also still empty although sometimes they are used for pop up stores and craft fairs.  Not carnivals though.  Our carnivals are at parks, malls, and firehouses usually.

I am also watching one of the towns I grew up in develop.  This town was a farm town when I was little and I remember there being four huge plots of farm land where the two main roads connect.  In the 90's there was a real estate boom and in the 00's a bunch of condos and very high end gated communities sprung up.  Those communities bought out the farms.  As much as I hated it at the time I kind of miss the smell of the rotting cabbage in the fall.  The mom and pop shops in the area still exist.  However, now a new strip mall is being built that will feature high end stores.  Something very different for the area, but in line with how the community has changed.  It's interesting and sad.

Why is it that we are ripping up the farms and last of our natural resources when there are whole lots vacant one town over?  It doesn't make sense to me.

Today I went out to Barnes and Noble to pick up Sophie Kinsella's "I Got Your Number."  From the moment I walked in I felt like it was void of books.  There were plenty of customers but the books had been downsized.  Our B&N is HUGE.  They clearly built this building to compete with Borders as it is much larger.  Personally, I have never cared for B&N.  I find it disorganized and as someone that likes to browse in an orderly fashion this is much to frustrating for me.  I am also not a fan of paying to be in their rewards program.  I am sorry but no other store does this and in a dying industry it's pretty stupid.  Oh but you get coupons!  No that's okay I avoid this bookstore anyway.

Initially I went upstairs in B&N to find my Kinsella book and had no luck.  Because why on EARTH would it be on the shelf with the rest of the Kinsella books?  That would make sense (see what I mean about disorganization?).  I also looked for Megan McCafferty's latest book "Bumped" with no success.  I checked both fiction and youth fiction (you never know).  They did not have ANY of her books in stock which is sad because her Jessica Darling series is so good!  Especially if you were in high school in the late 90's.

Through my Kinsella search I noticed how there were less book shelves since I had last been in B&N.  Not only that but less counters with books and a lot more open space.  I found the games section to have been expanded and I have fun looking through the games, puzzles, and vinyl figures.  I picked up a Tokidoki Unicorn and it happened to be Fumo in the box.  :D

Eventually I found my Kinsella book down stairs by the SPORTS section!  Why?  Seriously, why??????  Then I sat my tush down at the Starbucks with a coffee and a sandwich.

I really miss Borders.  I used to go there so much.  Even the random kick knacks were more fun at Borders.  Ho hum.. It's a sad time for the book lover.

I need to stop writing because The Walking Dead is about to be on and I have a MASSIVE headache all the sudden.  :(

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