We have met the enemy, and he is us.
I opened my third package from Amazon books this month as I sat down to write this. I had just finished reading about Borders’ bankruptcy in the paper. Yesterday a friend forwarded me an email about financial problems at Room of One’s Own, our local independent feminist bookstore.
I’m not feeling too good about those Amazon orders right now.
What have we come to when the story of Borders’ closing–which was the big-box category-killer when it first arrived–is couched as the little guy who lost out to the giants?
We’ve come to a wasteland, that’s what. The modern pattern of consumerism has taken the soul out of the once-satisfying exchange between a local buyer and a local seller, and has replaced it with one-click convenience, low prices, and a relationship with the UPS man.
Wherever you live, whatever bookstore you consider “yours,” get down there and buy something now. Then pledge to buy more. Stop to chat with the bookseller while you’re at it. Enjoy the lift you feel from simply engaging with another lively local human.
If you live in Madison, how about showing your support for Room of One’s Own Feminist Bookstore? Take the “Five More Books” pledge. You might just save an endangered species–the book lover.