BOOKSTORE! Oh Wait – you’re THAT kind of bookstore…


Oh how I love a good bookstore.  I’m not a browser per se, I like to go in an BUY many, many bookish things. I have some sort of disorder that doesn’t allow me to leave a bookstore with a single purchase. I can leave with less than one but mostly more than one…Never. Just. One.  But I digress.

On my family’s recent vacation to the lovely coast, I spied a used and out-of-print bookstore.  I was all giggly inside with anticipation.  It even had a great name (which I won’t give because I’m about to bash this store).  I started making plans to ditch my husband and son (at the music store) and wander on in. Then I saw it.  These uppity words on the window:  We Only Sell Books Without Batteries.

Well yippy-ding-dong for you.  You lost me as a customer.  Not because I think eBooks are better than paper-books. But because I cannot abide that kind of snotty attitude. About books no less.


As if the author was not important
As if the words themselves were not important
As if there was something more ‘intrinsically’ better about a printed book
As if there was something undesirable about an eBook.
As if it mattered.

It does not. A book is a book is a book. Printed, hand written, eBook… it’s about the READING OF THE BOOK not the format.  For me anyway.

I was one of those people for a while. I eschewed the Ebook. Ewww – no one is going to take my books away.  What a twit I was.  Then one March,  my husband was almost jumping out of his skin with excitement for me to open my gift from him (he rocks the house with gift buying – I am lucky). I opened- it was a Nook.  I tried to hide my disappointment. Why would I, a librarian, want an eBook reader? It took me about 15 minutes to fall in love with my Nook. I had INSTANT BOOKS. Oh I was drooling. And the soft eInk was fabulous. I could adjust the text to a larger size… and ya know what I loaded my Nook with? ALL MY FAVORITE BOOKS THAT I HAVE IN PRINT.  Ahhh  – do you know how much easier it is to hold a Nook rather than an 800 page book? MUCH  is the answer. MUCH MUCH MUCH easier.  Now I can get library books quickly – and if I really like the book, I can buy it in print.  I take my eReader with me on vacation and read my print books when my battery is low or when I have it in print only. I can do it all. I didn’t throw out my books and I didn’t stop buying books.  I just have books in both formats.  I have to admit that when I am on a plane, I take both my Nook and the same books in print, because, you know…what if I couldn’t read my nook?  On a plane with no book? THE HORROR! But, again, I digress…

And by the way… No one ever came and took my books away. One doesn’t give way to another. They just co-exist.  Each has their own pros and cons.  I would bet that those with visual impairments had a whole world open up with audio books and eReaders that read aloud in addition to Braille.  As if print works for everyone. It does not. I love print but I don’t value it above the experience of reading a book.

So little bookstore that is trying to survive- what I say to you… take those ugly words off the window.  Open your arms to all customers. No one is asking you to sell eReaders – but don’t put others off because you think you have something to prove. You only hurt yourself when you do.

And that is that ~

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Librarian, Reading and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to BOOKSTORE! Oh Wait – you’re THAT kind of bookstore…

  1. elspethc says:

    Oh I do agree. I went in a coffee shop and asked for wi-fi (I was all by myself) and they said they don’t have it because they thought people should talk to each other. Well I do, quite often. I hate these snotty folk who think their way is better than anyone else’s way. I did without their coffee and found a Starbucks.

  2. The items in my life that need batteries are not books. (You may draw your own conclusions.)

  3. Agreed, a book is a book is a book is a book. OK, you don’t get that lovely bookish smell with an ereader, but you also don’t have to hold up something that looks like a breeze block when you’ve purchased something that is six or eight books in one volume. And you’re also never going to have the pages fall out of your ereader either, and you won’t damage its spine! I think my librarian is very like the Librarian at Unseen University – books should be kept safe on the shelves and not be worn out by the reading of them, so ereaders would be perfect. (I’m not an orangutan though.)

    • Hee hee – my books are definitely not protected from reading and re-reading 🙂 but I do keep my most precious books – like intricate pop-ups and signed copies, nice and safe.

      I also love being able to look up a word right within the eReader – that is the biggest boon for me! Of course, I would like the OED as the dictionary on my eReader, but one cannot have everything, eh?

  4. I chuckled when I read about adjusting the text to a larger size because that’s me lately and it’s a big reason I prefer ebooks lately. But I’m with you. I’ll take a book any way I can get it! 🙂

  5. rossmurray1 says:

    Not better worse but another option.

  6. List of X says:

    During the last 15 or 20 years, I probably read more books on the screen of my desktop computer than in print. These books did not require batteries either, so your store must be fine with those, too.

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I am downsizing and spent a good part of a weekend figuring out which books I could replace electronically (eventually, as funds allow) and which I have to keep. I love them both, honestly. 🙂

  8. Elyse says:

    As Carrie says, it’s a win-win. I was a hold-out too.

    But you know what? I live in the DC area where bookstores are a rarity. I think that says something about the people who are running our country now.

  9. I read much more with my Kindle because I have about 175 titles at the click of a button. I have such a small house, it really helped me get back my space. 🙂

  10. Carrie Rubin says:

    I love both too. The ebooks are great when I’m traveling or when I’m on the treadmill. The paper books are nice for curling up on the couch with. Win win both ways!

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