Ok, so we all know I have issues buying books, right? I mean, I’ve covered that in other blogs. I now face the wrath of people calling me mean nasty names because I have a Kindle. This is my defense of myself and of the Kindle!
First of all, there comes a time when one has no more space for physical books. This does not mean one stops buying them, it just means one has to hide them in various places until one can find a place to put said books.
As I previously mentioned, if I like a book, I buy it on the Kindle AND in hardback, because I MUST HAVE BOTH. I want all my favorite books with me wherever I go, and I want to have the hardback on my shelves. And still, I get mocked and ridiculed and my status as a Book Person is questioned and even denied completely. There are tee shirts that tell me I am a bad person for owning a Kindle.
To the naysayers, I say…I say…well, I say something inflammatory and insulting, that’s what I say! Yes, I like having hardbacks, and yes, I have a ton of them. My dad’s exact words were “What? You put more books up there? The floor is going to cave in! Someday we are going to come home and find you in the living room when you meant to be in your room because you fell through the ceiling because those books weigh thousands upon thousands of pounds”. My response was that a) they don’t leave the house very often, so they aren’t going to “come home” to find anything, it will happen right in front of them; b) it will be my books that will fall through the ceiling, not me – I will probably have noticed creaking or a major dipping in the floor and I would have grabbed my cat and run by the time the floor actually caved in; and c) my library is not above their heads directly, it would just take out the couch and possibly part of the tv, so they really have nothing to fear. I digress.
I am more of a Book Person than someone without a Kindle. I can have as many books as I want at my disposal no matter where I am. Say I’m sitting in a room waiting to be interrogated by the FBI, and I’m with a Kindle-less person who mocks me for having one and not being a “true” Book Person. You know what I do? I take out my Kindle and read any of the thousands of books at my disposal while they sit there and watch me read. I will not deny that I must OWN BOOKS, but the thing that makes a Book Person a Book Person is that they READ THE BOOKS. Owning the books is a big part of it, but even bigger is the reading of the books. I can read more books at more times in more places than a non-Kindle user.
Are e-book readers going to put bookstores and real books on to the endangered species list? No! Duh! First of all, there are enough of us who MUST OWN BOOKS that we will continue buying them. Second of all, not everything is available as an e-book, unless you are my friend Tiffany who finds ways to make every single thing ever published be an e-book. Thirdly, the reason bookstores are closing is not because people aren’t buying books or because they are only buying e-books, it’s because Borders opens a store 2 miles away from another Borders, which is 3.5 miles away from another Borders, which is across the street from another Borders. Barnes and Noble does the same thing. They are competing with themselves, not e-books, and they are running themselves into the ground. They open more stores than they can support. So yeah, duh, they are closing stores. Not to mention, have you ever bought a book at Borders and then looked for it on Amazon.com? It’s always going to be less expensive online. I hate seeing any bookstore close. Well, I hate seeing any store at all close because I anthropomorphize things and think that the store must feel really bad and be sad that it is closing.
Now let’s look at a company like, oh, say, Half Price Books. This is where I say that yes, I am an employee of Half Price Books, but my opinions and comments do not reflect that of the company, they are only my own opinions and comments. I also don’t necessarily have facts, just guesses, as to why HPB is such a success. But my guess would be that it’s because we don’t open 45 stores in one year, all within 10 yards of each other. We sell awesome books for cheap. We sell out of print books that you can’t find at a new bookstore. You can find things at a Half Price Books that you haven’t seen in 35 years because we depend on what people sell us, and people sell us some cool ass shit. They also sell us some dead mice carcasses, spiders, and unmentionables – but mostly they just sell us really cool books. Because we aren’t dependent on brand new books only, people keep coming back because you just never know what you are going to find. It literally changes on a daily basis. Oh, and one time someone sold us a box that was filled with live mice who decided to Run Free when they got to my store. I’d be totally cool with a live mouse, or a rat, or a pig or a ferret or a cat or a hedgehog running out of a buy, but one time I was looking through a buy and there was a roach this big:
I am not even kidding. I screamed like a girl and normally I’m not that bad, I can maintain my cool exterior while freaking out on the inside. But I screamed when I saw that thing and I had to run before someone smushed him because I didn’t want to hear whatever sound it made when it got smushed. And yes, there was flapping involved. Did you really even need to ask that?
So all that is to say, it’s not e-books putting anyone out of business, and I am not a sell out. Also, you should definitely check out the video that hopefully posted of my books, because it’s neat. I still have about four boxes of books to get onto the shelves, but that doesn’t seem like it is going to happen any time soon. Especially if I fall through the ceiling and land in the living room. My dad would be WAY pissed off if I fell through the ceiling and interrupted Judge Judy, oh my gosh. He actually probably wouldn’t acknowledge that I’d fallen through the ceiling until a commercial.