The bookstores are going away

The news has been rumbling for a little while now that Borders, the number two traditional bookseller in the USA is likely going into bankruptcy next week.

It strikes me as incredibly sad when I’m in a mall that a few years ago had three booksellers, and today has none. And that seems to be the case at many malls and shopping centers. Yes, we can buy books online, but there’s something about book browsing in a big store with thousands of books from which to choose.

On the other hand, I’ll never forget my experience with the young woman behind the counter at Borders, when I asked if they had any Thurber in stock.

“Who?” she asked.

“Thurber, James Thurber.”

“How do you spell that?”

“T h u r b e r.”

She looked perplexed. “And what genre would that be?”

“Funny… you LOOK like you’ve been to college…”

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