<editorsnote> Nerds, meet Julie. You may know her already as Confessions of an Unwed Bride (her posts are SOOOO GOOOOOD!!!! So much soul in such a little body!!!) I digress … she’s got a whole lot more going on in that nerdy little noggin of hers, and wants to share said knowledge about general pop stufferino with you guys. Here is her latest … HIT IT JULIE!! </editorsnote>
#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Julie Wilson
Books have always been a huge comfort to me. I was very, very socially awkward as a child and had a hard time making friends. People just always seemed to think I was weird. Then I thought it was a good idea to tell people “Thank you!” when they told me I was weird which made them think I was even weirder than they originally thought and so on. So, books were my everything. I was a really fast learner when it came to reading. I was always in the top reading groups in school and when my group came across the “hard poem” in our book and our teacher said we could skip it I chimed in, “Can I read it? I practiced!” and went on to read it perfectly (further alienation from peers).
I had sooo many books as a kid, my closet, toy box and bookshelf were full. Then at around age 10 I fell in love again. This time with magazines. It started with Seventeen and from there tumbled out to Teen, YM, Allure, Bazaar, SPIN and my to this day favorite, Rolling Stone. I would also get every and any catalog I could possibly have sent to me. Didn’t matter what it was for. I just loved receiving mail.
When it was time to move out of my house after high school it was so traumatic. I had to give away most of my books and throw out my magazines. I was seriously devastated. I put tons of magazines out by the trash. They sat there for a day. I actually found myself on the sidewalk going through the magazines that were on the grass next to the garbage bins. Just one last look through!
To this day I still have every.single. Rolling Stone from the time I was 14 to now and select Seventeen (I have one with Shannen Doherty on the cover from 1991!! hilarious!) magazines. My mom hates me for the ones at her apartment. My ex’s patience for this grew thin over the years as he was the one who had to lift the boxes with each move.
These days I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. Just don’t have the time anymore. But when I do read, this nerd reads a real book. I have yet to download a book on my iPhone. I don’t know how much longer I can hold out, but I’m really trying. I don’t want to turn my back on books when they were always there for me. With real books you don’t have to worry about battery life, the book breaking, glare on the screen (depending on device), and no one will try and steal your book. Plus, I even like the smell of books. I always hold a new book, magazine or even pamphlet up to my nose and inhale. I’ve totally been called out by people for it.
“Did you just smell that brochure?”
“Ummmm…yes. I like the way the paper and ink smells.”
Weird look directed at me.
Whatev, used to it.
Which is why Borders going out of business breaks my heart. I first noticed that the Borders at Sunset and Vine was going out of business. I used to work across the street from it and I would go there on my lunch breaks to relax and get away from staring at a computer screen. It became my escape. Then when I realized it wasn’t just this one location, my heart sank.
A friend and I headed out to Las Vegas for the holiday weekend. We stopped and had lunch at a large shopping plaza. I saw a Border’s across the way and the huge 60-80% off sign as well.
“Dude, let’s go to Border’s and score some books.”
We’re on our way to Vegas and I’m ready for him to look at me like I’m crazy since stopping at a bookstore is basically the antithesis of Vegas debauchery.
“Yeah, I’m down”, he replies. YYEEEEEEEEEEESS!
Entering any bookstore is a wonderfully overwhelming experience for me. I never know where to start. And there are always tough decisions to be made over which books would make the cut. Except with the amazing sale, I didn’t end up putting any books back. We spent an hour and a half shopping for books. My arms hurt from carrying all of the books. I had to abandon the drink I was planning on bringing on the road trip because it interfered with me looking for books. I ended up getting 12 books for $89. Amazing! Everything from self help, chick lit, an HTML guide, 3 Neil Gaiman books, a Fantastic Mr. Fox sticker book, Cowboys and Aliens, and some randoms including The Great Typo Hunt (I proof stuff for a living, so super excited for this one). And I was finally able to justify purchasing Wilson, the graphic novel I always come across in comic book stores about a socially awkward (asshole) divorcee with my namesake. A great start to the weekend!
At the same time seeing all of the empty shelves made me so sad. The books were all over the place and unorganized. The coffee shop area closed and dismantled with random parts for sale.
For now, people are still reading more books in print than on E-book readers (but the below chart doesn’t account for those reading books on their cell phones):
How much longer will people hold an actual book in their hands? When will it be Barnes & Noble’s time? Will it be good for mom and pop book stores if they go out of business or will it already be too late for them as well?
I’m hoping there are others out there who still enjoy the weight of a book in their hands, highlighting important parts with a marker, and dogearing the page they left off on.
Thanks Borders, for all of the hours I have spent relaxing in your stores while sitting in big chairs, drinking coffee and deciding what books I was going to bring home.