Bookstore blues

Classic meets contemporary on this bookshelf

I headed to one of the country’s bigger bookstores a while back too see what they might have for kids on a particularly timely topic. It’s easy to research such things online but true book believers like to see, touch and smell the goods.

I brought laptop, camera and cell phone along — every piece of electronics gear I own. Which is pretty much everything but the one they really want me to have. I know this because the kiosk for their bookreader gizmo greets me each time I enter their store.

I headed to the children’s section, where I found craft kits, plush toys and lots of books with commercial tie-ins. But nothing I was really looking for. Not even a real live person who could assist me in my search. And they wonder why we’re all addicted to Amazon.

More books that make us feel all warm and fuzzy

In another section of the store, I overheard a man telling a bookseller that his child had read 300 books in the past year. I wanted to jump for joy, but the woman had a different reaction. “Imagine if they had an e-reader,” she said. So imagine I did.

I imagined a weekend without father-daughter trips to the library, without cradling a book after falling asleep mid-chapter. I imagined my daughter’s bedroom without shelves stacked with Shakespeare plays, without books signed by favorite authors like Jodi Picoult.

Normally I hit my favorite indie bookshop, but some days I feel too grungy to pop in to places where folks might see me in my tired old tee and saggy shorts. I’m gonna have to get over that. It beats the heck out of battling the big bookstore blues.

– Lynn

Note: The “1st Annual Rally for Literacy” takes place Sat, Oct 1 from 9-11am. Five Tucson literacy organizations are merging into a single one dedicated to promoting a culture of literacy and creative expression. Their new name and logo will be revealed at this rally. More info at www.bookmans.com.

Coming up: Arts and culture — festival style

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