Yesterday was all about easing back into the real world. Well, the summer version of the real world. The REAL real world won’t happen until school starts next month or, as I like to think of it, that time we have to be up at the crack of too early for nine months in a row.
I made a grocery list along with a list of errands we needed to run, specifically a trip to the drycleaners’ to see if they got the spaghetti sauce out of my brand new ivory blouse. (Yes, they did. However, it also came back missing a button. But they’ve promised to replace it. The button, not the blouse.) We also needed to go to TJ Maxx in search of new sheets for Caroline’s bed and make a run to Borders since they are going out of business and everything is marked down up to 40% off.
(Please note that everything is not 40% off. That’s what I originally thought because I failed to read the “Up To” portion of the sign. Comprehensive reading has never been my strong suit.)
Can we talk about Borders closing? I feel like I’ve been in a state of mourning since I heard the news.
From the earliest time I can remember, one of my very favorite things has been to go to the bookstore. Any trip to the mall ended with me browsing through B.Dalton Booksellers or Walden Books and picking up the latest Judy Blume book (Starring Sally J. Freedmen as Herself is still one of my favorites) and, later, the most recent edition of Sweet Valley High so I could keep up with the Wakefield twins, Enid, Todd, Bruce Patman, and Lila.
Eventually it seemed that most of the bookstores in the mall closed down and it was a new day of Borders and Barnes and Noble with in-house coffee bars and train tables for the kids. In my day, you had to drink coffee at home and walk uphill both ways IN THE SNOW to find a train table. But I adjusted and grew to love the new fancy version of bookstores.
Now it seems like we’re just one step away from our kids telling us, “Oh Mom. I read To Kill A Mockingbird last year when I downloaded it on that chip embedded in my brain” and that makes me sad. I know people love their Kindles and their Nooks and their whoozee-whatzits, but you can’t tell me that’s better than the smell and texture of a real live book with actual pages.
Actually, you can tell me that. I just won’t believe you.
And I know you can still buy books and that Barnes and Noble is still around. For now. I just hate to think that Caroline might grow up in a world where she’ll never know the thrill of looking through all the books on the shelves of a real, live store and discovering some hidden treasure that she never would have found online, like Sweet Valley High #3 Dangerous Love.
What if, by the time she’s a teenager, she reflects back on the books of her childhood and says, “Remember when books were made of paper and you had to turn the page?” Much like I have vague memories of the days when I had to find the perfect line on a record album to get it on the song I wanted to hear. Or when I had to listen to “Beauty School Dropout” on my Grease eight-track tape to get to “Greased Lightning”?
On a total sidenote, I went to elementary school with a girl named ZZ and she had an eight-track player that was shaped like a square and had a pump you pushed like a detonator to change the tracks on the tape. Oh I coveted that eight-track player. Even though I had a very fancy one with speakers that looked like the pockets of blue jeans.
I realize that one of these days I’ll probably give in and get some type of electronic reading device, but I’ll always prefer my books. And I’ll miss the days of running in the bookstore just to see what I can find.
Am I alone in this? Do you feel like you just read a post by your MaMaw? Does anyone else have fond memories of Sweet Valley High? And, most importantly, did anyone have that eight-track player with the detonator?
I need to know these things.