Monday, August 1, 2011

Progress Report: 8/1/2011

Back from vacation!

And no, as generally happens on summer vacation, it was not a time for much writing. It was, however, time for a lot of reading, which is the primary fuel for writing, and something I haven't had anywhere near as much time to do as I'd like.

I returned home to find our local Borders is shutting down, which in turn led to the knowledge that they are all shutting down. Borders has thrown in the towel.

It is somewhat sad, though it was the predictable end game of their extended struggle with the changing economy; it was not a well-managed organization. Hadn't been for a long time. Still, for me it means that the nearest bookstore (apart from the used bookstores) is now about a 30-40 minute drive away. Not something I ever expected to see.

From a writer's perspective, this isn't all that big a deal in the big picture. Fact is that while Borders is going away, and many other bookstores with it, people still read as much as ever. It's only the delivery system that is changing. A good story is still a good story.

And I am not willing to say that the bookstore -- and, more significantly, the physical book -- are yet on the cusp of extinction. The landscape is shifting, and the age of the bookstore's primacy has certainly reached its end, but they still have a place and (I believe) will for some time to come.

As for the paper book itself... well, I don't own an e-reader yet, though it is assuredly inevitable that I will. My biggest barrier is the way the screen strobes every time you turn a page. I find it annoying -- for my wife, it's a sure road to a headache, and probably to having the thing chucked across the room in a fit of irritation. So for our own corner of the world, we are still purely paper-readers.

The world is moving on.

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