Times are a Changin'

A few days ago the beautiful 3-story Border's Books in downtown San Francisco closed its doors. Another one bites the dust.

I've been so distraught thinking about how much life is rapidly changing and how the internet has affected us in both a good and bad way.

Of course, I make my living with an online shop, but there is something about "mom & pop" shops that nothing can replace. I miss the old days.

Do you remember these?

Or these?

I remember in 1981 when the first little local video rental shop opened. We'd pay $20 to rent a VCR for the weekend along with some VHS tapes. It was so exciting! Now to think that just 30 years later, most of us have lived to see that come and go.

Remember the fun spending hours browsing through a record store? Piling up your stack of 45's or LP's and standing in line. Now with iTunes, there's not even any need for your CD's. And all the record stores...gone.

So, where am I going with this? I don't really know. It's just so depressing to watch things change like this. And I'm saddened to watch "out of business" signs in every town you visit. People are struggling.

I am guilty of purchasing books at Amazon at a discounted price. Perhaps I'm one of the culprits that contributed to book stores filing chapter 11. But, we may not even have books in the future. Reading will probably be online and I'll still be scouting around to find "real books." No wonder so many folks are unemployed...

Tell me, how do you feel about the possibility of no print media? newspapers? books? magazines?

What would you miss most if it was replaced by the internet? Do you think that local 'mom and pops' such as shoe or jewelry repair shops will become extinct?

Am I just having a "feeling-old-at-fifty" moment or do you feel the same?


FrenchBlue said…
I KNOW and couldn't agree with you more and more!
Unknown said…
I agree! I love the printed wor- books, mags, crosswords- cannot be replaced. and so enjoy a cup of coffee and a few hours at the bookstore!

Anonymous said…
Ah, Lynn, if you only knew; I have been feeling "old-at fifty" ...no, old & inadequate at fifty for the past 2.5 years.

I appreciate online books - wouldn't be able to afford to buy all that I read online - but there is a question, 1st, of convenience and 2nd - of aesthetics. A book is such an utilitarian object: you can take it to bed with you, or traveling, you can put it into a handbag and it's convenient to hold it in one hand or on your knees. Of course, e-readers now accelerate to come close to these quality, but then #2 comes to play: the font, the illustrations, the smell, the whole graphic concept that is reflecting the content of the book and often - the place and time it was printed; the aesthetic side of books will be difficult for the e-readers to come close too, I think, for a long time.

I don't think small shops will become extinct, but they will become more and more doll-like, picturesque, not really a place of selling business but a place of nostalgia for that business.

We move with the times, whether we want to or not...
Kirsten Steen said…
I SO know what you mean. I actually think that is the attraction to "Mad Men". It's a nostalgic thing. And there will be more of that the more lost we become in technology. And while most of us love that technology, things are definitely changing. And it's not just stores closing and online shopping. Our minds are changing. Our brains are evolving but maybe not in a good way. It's frightening to think about. Wondering where we'll end up! Oh my...now I need a pep talk.

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