It’s not just me.
It’s not just me that’s saddened by the news of Borders going out of business. It’s Sandy Banks, too. Sandy Banks wrote an entire column in the Sunday L.A. Times lamenting the closure of this national book chain.
Nothing compares to shopping for books in a book store. Nothing compares to holding a book, opening it up, feeling the resistance of the spine give way. Books are objects to be treated gently, reverently. Books are miniature worlds I share with children - both my son and my students.
I share with you some of the words Sandy Banks included in her column from the July 24th edition of the Los Angeles Times:
“But nothing beats holding a book in my hands; skimming it, smelling it, flipping the pages, hearing the author’s voice in my head. It’s that process of discovery, not the product, that makes partners among loyal book lovers and buyers.”
“I like moving through my house and seeing the evidence of who I’ve been and what ideas I’ve wondered about stacked on shelves and tables around me.”
My son is three years old and already I have evidence of his growth just by looking at his collection of books. Ryan has progressed and no longer solely reads chewable books (books with teething portions attached for infants). We are reading from our third copy of Goodnight Moon, having worn out the first two copies. Ryan can pick up a book of shapes, look at the pictures, and correctly identify the names. Ryan can ask to read Todd Parr’s The Mommy Book and comment on the illustration of the upside-down mommy and the mommy with the big hair. Ryan is perfectly content to spend time browsing books - books at home, books at the public library, books at the local bookstore. There is no electronic device that offers a comparable experience.
And now, Borders is gone.