Sad photo I took at DTW last weekend:
I’m still not quite sure how to feel about the Borders bankruptcy. On one hand, it was a big corporation that threatened smaller, independent retailers, so I think that means I was supposed to hate Borders. But then it’s a Michigan-based company, so I think that means I was supposed to like it. And apparently, it couldn’t attract enough customers to survive on its own in the marketplace, so I’m not sure why some of our elected leaders didn’t take our money and give it to Borders. And people seem to be reacting to the Borders bankruptcy the way my dog acts when I put away one of his toys: completely uninterested until I take it away from him, then acting like it was the most important thing in the world. I just have no idea what I’m supposed to think here. I need a chart or something.
Alas, when in doubt, I have my fallback rule: figure out Mitch Albom’s position, and get as far away from it as humanly possible. Example:
The problem is people don't love books the way they once did, nor do they read them the same way. Cheaper electronic versions undermine the need for shelf-space. Younger audiences who haven't grown up with rainy afternoons spent inside book pages, don't snap up the latest great read -- unless there's a certain vampire or wizard attached. The backlists of mid-level authors are not lucrative for the balance sheet. And the pressure for profits to keep the stock price high runs diametrically opposite to the slow, meandering, long-term customer approach that used to define bookstores.
I wish I could write paragraphs like that. First of all, it’s Albom’s longest paragraph ever. But beyond that, the first sentence is almost definitely false; the second sentence seems like a good thing; the third sentence is both misleading – because of the internet, “younger audiences” have access to an astronomical amount of information, far more than their ancestors – and insulting; sentence four is also almost definitely false, or at least irrelevant; and sentence five is absolutely true since things like “profit motive” and the stock market did not exist in 1970. Right?
Don’t worry though. Have a Little Faith was still available in the airport bookstore.