Saturday, 5 February 2011

The path to cultural wasteland?

I learned on Leigh Russel's blog that Waterstone's are going to close many stores. This is not good news. I have been recently to Waterstone's and, although I was disappointed by the choice available, it is still one of the few big book chains in this country (the only one?) and the few places nearby where I can actually find books I can buy, not only bestsellers and genuinely discover some works from time to time.

But the future seems even gloomier: some 100 public libraries are going to be closed. So books, good and bad, will be more difficult to find and less affordable too. We are going right to a cultural wasteland if we are not careful. So even though my bookshelves are crammed, I will buy more books and will support as much as I can my local library. And I will read a lot.


Cynthia said...

I guess that the problem is that less and less people are reading and Internet is a serious competitor for brick and mortar book shops.

I am one of those mean people buying mostly online as it can be hard finding what I want in French bookstores since I read mostly in English!

PJ said...

J'achète beaucoup de livres par internet maintenant (particulièrement les trucs durs à trouver autrement). Si pouvait livrer au Canada, j'aurais acheté "De monts en merveilles", copie de très bonne qualité (i.e. "de collection", contrairement aux autres copies "d'occasion"), depuis longtemps. Ta belle-famille habite en France, non?

Anonymous said...

The culture of reading is in dire need of CPR. When I think of all the sponsorship spent on sports, and the like I get very angry. While sports feeds the body, reading feeds the mind, and the imagination. There is a generation of young impoverished minds, and it is a tragedy. I felt quite ill after reading that BBC article.

The Gill-Man said...

I'm glad we still have lots of bookstores in my area, especially the used ones! I know Amazon is where many buy books now (and I do as well if I cannot find it in a brick-and-mortar store), but I prefer the experience of perusing the shelves. Maybe I'm an old fogey, but I just haven't been able to get into the concept of digital books yet. I'm sure, eventually, this will be the only way to get new books, but for now...I'm buying physical copies as long as I can!!!