Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dear Diary: Observations from the Book Store and on the Loss of Whitney

For the first time in a very long time, I stepped foot into my local Barnes & Noble and found it to be a very different place than it was the last time I was there. In November of 2010 I made the leap to e-reading and have never looked back. This has fundamentally changed my relationship with my local bookstore. To be honest, e-reading has ended that relationship. I no longer have a reason to be somewhere I used to spend a tremendous amount of time. The loss of that relationship saddens me. However, as one who has tried to embrace new technology, I have to admit that I adore e-reading. I adore the easy access to books, the ability to have what I want when I want it (that applies to all things--not just books, LOL) and I love being able to read in the dark of night without bothering my husband--too much anyway.

I noticed that the romance section, still stashed way in the back of the store, has shrunk dramatically to two sides of a small aisle. It seems only the biggest names in the genre are featured there, with few exceptions. The new release paperback display that used to be in the front of the store is now stashed way  in the back. My kids asked why we had to walk past toys and other gadgets to get to the books. I told them because so many people aren't reading print books anymore. They were insulted on my behalf that my print books weren't featured in my home book store. I told them not to be because my readers are finding me in the e-bookstore where my books will never go out of print. Despite the move to e-reading and the fact that they have e-readers, both my kids bought print books yesterday. My older one, who is 16, told me she's not ready to completely abandon print books. I think I might be, however. I'm reading print books for a published author contest right now, and I find them to be hard on my eyes now that I've become accustomed to e-reading.

Where do you stand on the print vs. ebook debate? Have you made the leap? If so, do you have trouble going back to paperbacks when need be?

In other news, thank you to Carrie at Seductive Musings for listing Everyone Loves a Hero as one of her favorite books of 2011. In her note to me, she said, "I thought it was such a wonderful story and it was one of my absolute favorite reads from 2011."

Today, I'm watching Whitney's funeral on TV. As one who came of age in the late 80s/early 90s, hers was the voice of my generation. I remember singing her songs into my hairbrush with my dorm-mates in college. We loved her so much, and we were quite convinced our singing was every bit as good as hers. Of course no one's singing was ever quite like Whitney's. My daughter made a comment questioning just how big a star Whitney really was. We told her she couldn't begin to conceive of what a huge star Whitney was in her day. While the last years of her life were filled with struggles, I hope she'll be remembered for her amazing, singular talent and her generosity to a generation of female singers who owe so much of their success to the path she paved. UPDATE: Kevin Costner's eulogy wrecked me, but watching Whitney's casket carried out of the church of her childhood with her soaring voice providing the final word made me sob. It's all too sad.