Brace, yourselves, Leaguers. I'm about to get serious on your asses. Cross-posted from my personal blog.
So yesterday I was scanning twitter and saw yet another story about how poorly the big chain bookstores are doing. This on the heels of news that one of my favorite independents in Dallas also closed. Every day we’re bombarded with sad prognoses about the book industry. To read it, everything is on life support right now: Publishers, book stores, and even books themselves.
I personally can’t–and don’t want–to imagine a world where bookstores and print books don’t exist. (I’d also, for the record, be pretty upset if publishers went away, but that’s a blog for another time.) I don’t hate ebooks. I don’t loathe online print book retailers either. I spend money on both all the time. But my first love will always be print and I hope to continue that love affair for a good long while.
I’ve blogged before about how we’re conveniencing the joy out of our lives. But it goes deeper than that. Joseph Campbell once said, “Your sacred space is where you find yourself again and again.”
Bookstores are temples and stories are my prayers. I suspect it’s the same for a lot of you.
As kind of a half-joke, I started a thread on twitter about how we need a national book day. A major holiday for reading. Like Valentine’s Day, only for books. The kind of holiday that Hallmark makes cards for and that has its own mascot. Because, guys, it’s that serious.
Recently, Time magazine ran a list of 10 things kids today won’t experience. Reading real books was on that list.
Think about that. Time magazine, a major national print media outlet, has declared the print book obsolete. Besides being a bit premature, it also, sadly, looks to be an accurate prediction.
So here’s what I’m thinking. There’s this National Buy a Book Day on September 7. You probably haven’t heard about it because it doesn’t have any catchy slogans (why not get some writers on that, guys?) or celebrity spokespeople. But I think we can change that. Imagine what could happen if book lovers everywhere–from publishers to agents to authors to booksellers to readers–spread the word.
Everyone knows someone who never reads. Buy them a book. Everyone knows a kid who would rather play Nintendo than read. Buy them a book. Everyone knows a friend who loves to read. Buy them a book too. And then buy one for yourself. You deserve it.
I don’t care what book you buy. This isn’t about promoting my books. It’s about promoting ALL books. And any book that sells helps all of us.
So spread the word. And next Tuesday, get thee to a brick and mortar bookstore and buy at least one book.
For the price of a paperback you can help save civilization. Spread the word. Buy local.