What is the writer to do as the book stores close? Not much. Keep on writing. One feels at times like you are writing through a war during this age of transition. Run out and buy a Kindle? They keep falling in price and now there is practically no excuse to not buy one. Before the price was prohibitive and they seemed a little weird and gimmicky and bulky. Not so anymore. Small, sleek, and cheap. $139 at the last check and they will surely come down more.
So then you have to think about reading from a screen. Reading a book is partly enjoyable because you are not reading from a screen. Something pleasing about holding the paper between your fingers and nothing flickering or whirring or dying from a weak battery. You can toss that book under your bed, smudge it with jelly or stain it with coffee. And it still works! But then there is that thing called the economies of scale in publishing running everyone down.
Brick and mortar book stores might become dinosaurial. All that paper sitting in a warehouse essentially. But then a blockbuster comes along and all that paper flies right out. A Kindle blockbuster would be much more muted. A ten million download bestseller! Wow! Did you see that server go! Something about it is just not as exciting as watching people line up to buy their favorite book from their favorite author.
But the times are a changing and publishing will bow to our version of the IPOD revolution. Hopefully it won't leave publishing as tattered as the music business. In the mean time, nothing to do but to keep on keeping on...imagine how those scribes felt when they saw that printing press.
William Hazelgrove's latest novel is Rocket Man due out in September