Monday, December 17, 2012


Don't give up on bookstores!

The sad news in Ottawa last week was the impending demise of yet another independent bookstore, Collected Works. The store is up for sale at $1 and if no buyer, or infusion of cash, presents itself before Christmas Eve, the store will close. That’s the third one for this city, this year. Nicholas Hoare closed earlier in the year and our other wonderful indie, Books on Beechwood, will follow suit in January.

A columnist in the morning newspaper seemed to think this was inevitable, what with the electronic world taking over our lives. But, you know what? I don’t agree. I truly believe there will always be a place for bookstores and although the numbers will not be great, those that remain will be serving a faithful clientele, one that could even see growth as this fascination with all things electronic whittles away to the norm and readers look back to the ‘good old days’. Even vinyl LP’s are making a comeback!

Did you turn on your radio this morning? Remember when that new gadget, the television was supposed to obliterate radio? Television was also seen to be the undoing of newspapers, too although they’re still around. I know, many are hurting, some have closed and others are cutting back…sounds like a pattern, doesn’t it? But will they totally disappear? I doubt it. Community newspapers, at the very least, will survive. And I that radio will always be with us. As will bookstores.

Flying home from Victoria the other night, I noticed several passengers continue reading their paper books while others of us had to shut down their e-readers, iPads and smart phones in preparation for landing. It’s those unforeseen advantages that are out there and will aid in the future of books.

I subscribe to the newspapers, have my radio on for much of the day, watch some television at night, read a book on my iPad when traveling, and have stacks of books throughout the house…many of them with bookmarks part way through them. These can co-exist!

So far this morning I have read the newspaper and read a few chapters of a paper book while enjoying my second espresso, before starting to work. And, this past weekend, I bought a book, a manual on how to use my iPad!

Long live the book!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
A KILLER READ, also available at your favourite bookstores and online.

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