28 July, 2011


Commentary by Cherie Jung

Another "brick and mortar" bookstore, that is.

About a year ago, in this commentary section, I was lamenting the loss of more and more small bookstores; complaining about the encroachment of e-books and e-readers while insisting I preferred holding a real (i.e. paper) book in my hands.

Not much has changed since last year. I'm still resisting purchasing an e-reader (more because I don't know which one to sink my money into than outright opposition to the darn things) and I still like to feel the paper pages of a book in my hands. I do see the potential cost savings for publishers when it comes to e-galleys versus printed and mailed paper galleys. I am willing to invest in an e-reader for review/galley purposes but I'm still not interested in downloading books for my own, personal pleasure-reading. I'm a stubborn old dinosaur when it comes to that!

But now, Borders has declared bankruptcy and is going out of business. I'm going to miss them. I didn't go there often. Certainly not as much as I used to before I had a stroke two years ago which made it more difficult for me to navigate on the local bus system for an afternoon or evening trip to the local Borders.

I gave up (or gave in) long ago resisting the big chain bookstores. I still buy at my friend's small independent mystery bookshop when I can. She is always helpful in popping a book or two into the mail for me, even though it means a trip to the post office for her. I've no complaints there. But I also order online from time to time through Amazon-dot-com because when I do, not only can I quickly get books that my friend doesn't carry in her bookshop, but by clicking on the "In Association with Amazon.com" button (on our home page in the upper right hand corner) anything I purchase counts towards a small (and I mean very small — sometimes only pennies) fee (or "kickback" if you like) that Amazon pays to the omdb! website. (We also get credit — again, a few pennies — when/if someone clicks on the "buy this book?" link — in each posted review — and actually purchases a book.) These pennies eventually add up (not as quickly as we would hope) and go towards the purchase of the short stories that are published on the omdb! website. In the past, when we were an actual "in print" on paper magazine, the subscriptions covered the purchase of short stories. We still have faint hopes of one day returning to the printed magazine, but we are also mulling over the idea of an e-reader "print" version of the magazine. Kind of like the old days but updated and more modern. This dinosaur isn't quite ready to lie down and become extinct yet.


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