Friday, September 17, 2010
CRIME ON MY MIND
A sad happening in our town this week. Another independent bookstore is closing its doors. Leishman Books, in the Westgate Shopping Centre is the one and it’s been an outstanding indie for over 50 years. It has added immeasurably to the book culture in Ottawa and will be truly missed by so many. The owners, Diane and Sally, put up a valiant fight to keep it going...and it's our loss.
As a former bookstore owner, I grieve at each closing and part of me curses the day that big box stores took over the community. The fact that on-line shopping is now so prevalent. And also, the advent of e-books. (The author side of my split personality of course, welcomes the e-book and the additional royalties.)
As a reader, I hope I’ll never see the day when the printed paper page disappears. I have a love affair with my books. They line the walls in my house, bookcase by bookcase, room by room. They sit in decorative piles on the floor and on end tables. A mixture of mysteries and mainstream sit on my bedside table and stacks of cookbooks (looked through but seldom used, I admit) are found in my kitchen. What a sad and sorrowful day it would be without them.
Did I mention the decorating value? There are books written about decorating with books. I have them!
There’s a calming effect that comes from viewing a pile of TBRs…one or in many cases, several titles for every possible mood. Inquiring minds can find the information needed with a perusal of the table of contents and a flip of the pages. None of this trying to narrow down the scope for a Google search and then wading through unimaginable numbers of hits. Did I mention I have this love-hate relationship with my computer?
Not so with my books!
It’s truly a crime that Leishman is closing. It’s a crime when any independent bookstore closes. Some call it progress, this manipulation of people’s lives by the electronic and internet worlds. What do you call it?