Today I stumbled upon a Clearance sale for books, another bookshop closing down.
I bought me a few books, Damon Galgut among them, and then tried to think when I’d bought the last book. Couldn’t remember then, can’t remember now.
As I browsed the bookshelves I kept thinking that 50 years from now, this would probably be an impossible, exotic experience. Letting book covers draw the eye, inhaling the scent of new books, running fingertips on the spines big and small, catching a familiar author or getting snagged by an intriguing title.
Very soon, it won’t happen.
In 20 years or so, we’ll only be left with niche bookstores for the nerds, like we have Turntable stores nowadays. A whole lot of my readers have probably never seen a turntable in their lives– but I have some memories of good turntable music from my childhood.
All things pass, but the passing away of physical books from our world would be particularly painful. I can’t imagine a library without books either.
Perhaps, adults of future generations would be nostalgic about Kindles and iPads (‘Remember those flat boxes we swiped fingers on, no holograms, no 3-d experience?’ they’ll probably say)
When bookshops become extinct, where will you browse? The thought of it hurts me. How about you?