ShoutOuts Issue 4

    There’s nothing quite like the feeling of holding a physical book. The strong, firm cover in your hands, the feathery feeling of pages slipping past your fingertips, that pulpy smell of paper underneath your nose. While melting into a LA-Z-Boy Chair by the fireplace, a book is the perfect thing to grab while the fireplace warms your bones. I wouldn’t give up that feeling for the world. But how long will it last?

    If you’re an avid book lover like me, you probably remember the recent death of Borders, a beloved bookstore which unfortunately lost its place in this world due to the fall in the popularity of books. Fortunately for us, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, are still alive and well, but how long will it last? So, here’s an ode to Barnes& Noble, as it still lives. For now.

    I was a big Borders fan, so for most of my life, I can’t say I always loved this store. However, because of their similarities, I can say that the transition between the stores was not too difficult. It has a nice calm atmosphere, a wonderful café for liquid refreshment, plenty of books of almost every genre; it has everything that Borders had and more. And, of course, as an owner of a Nook, I sing the praises of its smooth reading and the fact that the Nook gives me the ability to look up words while reading and change the size of the words if my eyes get tired. Yes, the Kindle can do this, but it is proven that the Nook has better software than the Kindle, so its reading is a tad smoother. Unfortunately, there are some downfalls of the Nook though. It has a lot less choice of books. Plus, newer authors have the ability to sell their books on Amazon, while Nook obviously does not. It makes access to books easier to the everyday reader and writer, so in some aspects, the Kindle is definitely more desirable.

    However, this is not about Amazon. Amazon, I use a lot too, so I’m not going to start insulting them or whatever. No. They are very convenient and I buy stuff from there all the time.

    Barnes&Noble, however, makes books more real. I’m afraid that all of our books will become electronic. I don’t want batteries to dictate the travel of stories; I don’t want electricity and the internet to claim the power over words. However, this is the electronic age. You’re reading this blog right now on the internet. You’re probably on a computer. You might use a cell-phone, more than likely. You might be watching TV on a HD, flat screen TV. Just look around the house, how many convenience items do you have that are dictated by electricity? I personally cringe whenever there’s a power-outage. Though, luckily, my Nook covers that by having a relatively long battery life.

    You know what I’m saying. I know we can’t stop the internet age, and I’m not asking you to fight it. But I really do hope some people try to keep this bookstore alive. It’s not entirely up to us, it depends on how B&N adapts. However, do try to help them if you’re a book lover. I want to see books on the shelves. I want to have a library in my own home someday. I don’t want to only look at the cover of a book on the computer. I would rather see it in my hands, face to face. I don’t want books to become like facebook, where you can read all of its info online and decide to friend it just because of what Amazon tells me. I want to see it here, with me.

    So this ShoutOut is for Barnes&Noble. They’re a loveable place. I want to see them alive for as long as possible, no matter what the financial market says. J

    See you Wednesday!

    A.C. Rooks

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