Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nook 'em, Danno

Last night after dinner the Little Woman asked if we could go to Barnes & Noble. Nothing earthshaking in this request, it was a fairly common practice of ours. It was almost routine, in fact. She would stock up on her true crime books (where she has learned all kinds of ways to kill you and never be detected) and I would sit in one of the many chairs scattered through the store and read something from the humor section, or perhaps the horror section of the film shelves.

We hadn't done this of late, however, probably hadn't been to the booksellers for a month.

What a shock. The whole place has been changed, everything moved about to mysterious corners. I can't find anything anymore. Worse, what we often preferred has been reduced to small little shelving units not holding anywhere near the choices of before. And added to this, there are no longer any CDs in the place. The old music and movie section is only DVDs now.

My son was there buying a DVD and when I saw the changes I said to him, "I'll have to find a new bookstore."

The clerk heard this and told my son people have to get use to change.

True enough, but I don't have to like it.

Come to think of it then why do I use an old TV photo to illustrate a piece about change? Oh, that's right, Hawaii 5-0 is a new show. Yeah, it is recycled because it use to be on in the '60s and '70s and now it is on in this new millennium. Is that change? Although I do see that the character Kono has changed. I can't put my finger on it. Did he lose weight or something?

Yessir, change like that other new TV show that was a hit in the '60, The Defenders. Man, E. G. Marshall must be rolling in his grave knowing he was replaced by Jim Belushi. And speaking of Robert Reed, which we weren't, but he was in that first go-round of The Defenders,  so when do they revive The Brady Bunch. After all, I've heard another golden chestnut from the 1970s is in the works as a "new" series, The Rockwood...oh, wait a minute, Rockwood is where I go to walk a lot. (This was my sneaky way to plug some earlier posts on walking the trails, go down a few and read them.)  Anyway, the series was/is The Rockford Files.

So where was I when all this started? Ah yes, the desecration of Barnes & Noble. I think the bookstores are disappearing, going the way of the Video Rental Stores and Buggy Whips and vinyl records. The whole front of the store was a plug for The Nook, the B&N electronic reader. You can now come and read books on the Nook for free. But B&N already had their financial rating dropped because the analysts wonder if they can complete with the Kindle and the IPad.

So I'm an old fogey now because I like the feel of an actual book in my hands. Yeah, I know there are some advantages to these Nooks and Kindles and electronic nicknacks. It is compact and portable like a book, but it is really many books. You can have 1,500 books in the thing. (I use to have four thousand books in my downstairs library and there were many others I had lost so I would have needed maybe four of the things.) It is a space saver. Even four Nooks would take up less space than thousands of books, even paperbacks. I'll give it that.

But I like to read in the bathtub. (If you are picturing that, please close your eyes. I did my bathtub post earlier.) Anymore I read a few pages and start to fall asleep (a curse of aging I suppose) and so far I have only actually dropped one book into the water. It pretty well dried out. But what if I dropped a Nook or Kindle? I mean, one book gets ruined what's the worst, I'm out $10 to $25 dollars? I drop the Nook I'm out a couple hundred plus the cost of any books I have in the thing. (Can I still really call these things books anymore?)

And those electronic manuscripts aren't cheap either, $9.99 a pop. I can get paperbacks for less. If you got your 1,500 book-thingees in there, why that is a $14,985 investment! Do I want to wash away $15,000 dollars in a tub because my lids got heavy? I think not!

When I was a young man in a far and distant past, I use to do a lot of reading on trains traveling back and forth to work. You leave your book on the train you feel a little regret, but you leave your Nook on the train you'll be crying yourself into an early grave.

But change is change and I have said the only thing certain is change. Soon methinks the comfort of the bookstore will dissolve away. Think not? Well, I use to type these little essays on a typewriter.  Music used to be on wax cylinders and then on vinyl round records played on a turntable with a needle. Along came a spider called the CD and that all went away.

So why did B&N do away with CDs? (Borders has greatly shrunk their CD section as well.) It is because of a little device called the IPod. The Nook and Kindle are just literary IPods; I mean, come on, there is the IPad. Move over wax cylinders at the Smithsonian and make way for the CD display.

I wonder where the Poetry Group will meet? They also shrunk the seating areas. Bookstores and writers; groups, that's a whole other story. I'll do a gripe about that someday too.

1 comment:

Ron Tipton said...

I'm with you Lar, I like the feel of a book in my hand. Kindles and whatever else those electronic things are called are for someone else, I'm an Old Fogey and I'll stay with the feel of a book. Plus, you drop a Kindle in the bathtub while you're soaking and you might not be around after you're electrocuted.