Saturday, January 7, 2012

Books in the time of Kindle

Pardon the phrasing of the title patterned after my favorite Gabriel Garcia Marquez book.  But first, my disclaimers.  I'm not scholarly, just a book lover from my youth.  Secondly, I'm not technology-averse or gadget-challenged (in fact, I'm excited about the new Kindle), just a person deeply in love with physical books.  And thirdly, I keep hundreds of books and magazines, 95% of which were procured from Booksale and other second-hand bookstores.  You can say I'm a huge Booksale fan so much so that I can spend the whole afternoon there and that I inevitably visit the Booksale outlet in every place I visit that has them.

With the proliferation of e-books and e-book readers like Kindle and the iPad, I've noticed the alarming shrinking of National Bookstore outlets (my second favorite book place), even Powerbooks.  I wonder if Booksale and other pre-owned books stores will suffer the same fate.  I really hope not.

Oh, pre-owned books are of of life's simplest pleasures.  Browsing one, I wonder how many miles it traveled to get into my hands; how many lives it touched; how many times it changed hands; how it brought a new understanding to people who've come to possess it, albeit temporarily.  I also am inclined to thinking why the person who previously owned it, never felt the compulsion to keep it although I guess that's what books are supposed to be for -- for sharing and enriching so many other minds.

As I read my new pre-owned book "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, on the heels of my first book read for 2012, Yan Martel's "The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccatios" (both acquired at princely sums of P115 or just $2.67 each),  I ponder on Booksale's future.  As I take stock of the many books I have on my shelves (and in the recesses of my brain) -- by Paul Theroux, Michael Crichton, Jon Krakauer, C.S. Lewis, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, Tom Clancy, just to name a few of my favorite authors --  I thank God for Booksale.  I may await the arrival of the new feature-rich Kindle and be amazed by news that there is already a second-hand e-book trading store online but I think, I pray, I hope, I'll never outgrow my love for physical books.


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