March 30th marked the end of an era.
This past Sunday, the World’s Biggest Bookstore, located in Downtown Toronto, closed its doors for the last time.
The once overflowing shelves laid barren, even a week before closing.
Except for Chris Hadfield’s shelf. There were WAY too many copies of his book. (And sorry I didn’t tell all of you about the closing sale, I’m a horrible person, I know.)
(Colourrsssss ~ There were a lot of these types of books, too.)
While technology can never truly replace print books, they are definitely moving in that direction. In our society, we rarely look at tradition. Instead, we focus on convenience: which one is lighter? what takes the least amount of time to pack? which one will I always have with me, no matter the size of my purse/bag? all in all, which one is more convenient?
Nothing beats a gook old, hard copy novel, but even I have to admit that I’m caving into the ways of technology. While reading books on my cell phone (despite it’s miniature screen) is more convenient, I enjoy reading hard copies more. Plus, authors get more from a hard copy (or at least I hope they do for the price I’m paying).
That’s another thing that’s lost in technology. A lot of people these days pirate movies and download illegal copies of books and cds for free, without giving anything to the author. This sucks, because really, authors put time, effort, and their heart into their books, and people take advantage of that. Authors are losing money, publishers are losing money, record artists, movie producers, studios – everyone in the Arts is LOSING MONEY. It’s great that you get to keep yours, but people do this for a living so you can enjoy it. So you can take a break from reality and step into someone else’s mind, even for just a moment. The least you can do is support them.
These days, so many things get lost because of technology: profits, tradition, appreciation; all for convenience.
The World’s Biggest Bookstore is now gone, that’s just one closure in the many to come. Buy books, support the author. Even if it is the ebook, it’s better than nothing. If you want anyone to keep writing to make a living (i.e. publish books for sale), then you have to show them that they are appreciated, that there is a demand. That in the end, they’re not doing this for nothing; they’re being heard.
This is the end of the era, but don’t let it be the end of a literary cultural tradition.
Disclaimer: I sound a lot smarter than I actually am (at least I think I do), but here it is in short: buy books. Ebooks, hard copies, even discounted novel. Anything and everything helps keep the industry alive and flourishing. Unless you want to see it all disappear, keep supporting authors and publishers alike.
All in all, do things the legal way.
Update: Chapters Festival Hall, another large store located in Downtown Toronto, has also announced that it was be closing – on May 30th, 2014.