Remember bookstores? You know, those places that are like libraries, but with commerce involved. (Come to think of it, remember libraries?)
OK, while we aren’t quite at the point where the electronic marketplace has eclipsed the physical one, it is true that independent bookstores have been struggling for a long while. And now with the deadly Pricing War of 2009 in full swing, they’re taking yet another hit.
So, as a way to honor these burrows for bookworms, Publishers Weekly has declared tomorrow “National Bookstore Day.” Over 140 booksellers around the country will be involved in the nationwide promotion trying to remind people just how special independent bookstores can be. Amazon doesn’t let you peruse 18 miles of shelving like the Strand bookstore in New York. Try asking Walmart to let you stay the night in their facilities in exchange for work like Paris’ Shakespeare and Company does. They’ll probably laugh and rollback your butt out the door.
It’s a clarion call for bibliophiles everywhere to patronize any place where you can get a reading recommendation that hasn’t been spat out of an algorithm that somehow thinks that if you liked The Hotel New Hampshire, you’ll also enjoy a Hannah Montana box set. Any place where purchasing literature does not necessarily require a frozen mocha latte and raspberry hazelnut pirouettes. Any place where the books aren’t located across the aisle from the margarita makers and sold by the pound. Heed it and browse.