WHY THE PRINTED BOOK WILL LAST ANOTHER 500 YEARS | October 14, 2015 By Adam Sternbergh
Books | Print vs. E-books | Reading | Trends
It’s always an intellectual mistake to assume that the thing you love the most might be the exception. I remember listening to a public-radio conversation a few years ago in which two people debated the necessity and romance of record stores (a very large and storied one in NYC had just closed) and thinking, Well, of course record stores are going to close, it’s sad but it’s the way of the world, and feeling kind of smug about it because I don’t frequent record stores. And then realizing a moment later that in two, or five, or maybe ten years time—or maybe sooner—I could be listening to two people on the radio having this exact same wistful conversation about bookstores.
I didn’t feel so smug after that.
Bookstores are a sacred space for me and books are hallowed objects. I’ve worked in two of the former and owned and treasured an innumerable number of the latter. (I honestly don’t know the number of books I currently own; I do know that when my wife and I moved most recently, our moving company charged us extra afterward because we’d seriously underestimated the number of boxes of books.) My first and favorite activity in any new city is to locate and visit the best bookstore; I literally Google the city’s name and “best bookstore” and see what comes up. This almost never fails to lead me not only to a great bookstore but to the best, most interesting neighborhood in town. Read more...