Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Bookstore

Early this morning I was working on, well, my novel. (I've never said that out loud on this blog but I've been writing a novel and I'm trying to finish a revision before I start school. I digress.) So I was working on the novel and I came to a scene where my heroine, Lauren, is imagining someone in a book store picking up a book with her name on it. And then I thought, "My god! What are we going to do when we don't have bookstores anymore!" I admit it, I panicked. What ARE we going to do?

The E-reader is really here and electronic books -- they're exciting, they're light, you can take them anywhere as long as you have a plug for recharging. But how will you find new books if you never wander along a bookshelf? Granted a bookstore or library shelf can be overwhelming, but they're also exciting. You can find books you might otherwise never have read, books that would never get moved through the algorithm of "What else you might like based on what you've already bought." Our incredibly siloed world will only get more so and new writers will have an even harder time breaking through.

Of course, ever since I had this thought I tried to come up with an example of a book I've read recently that wouldn't probably pop up through one or another of my algorithms, a book that hadn't been recommended to me or that wasn't in a genre I'm very familiar with, and I couldn't. But still, you see my point. I know I'm just sawing at my violin when Rome is burning, but the smoke is so thick! I just love a book.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for saying this, Robin! I actually have found books that turn out to be important to me by browsing on bookshelves, lots of them, the most recent last Wednesday. And I'm excited to hear you're working on a novel!

Robin Aronson said...

Enjoy this new book, Lizi!