Aug 26, 2011
The Smell of Book Worms
I went to Strand Book Store at Union Square, New York, which sells used books and some novelties (You might see the tote bags of STRAND brand).
There were many tall wooden book shelves that reached the ceiling. I was walking around the book shelves. I was most relieved at the section of Sci Fiction. I found a young man, who looked like a geek, sitting on the floor and concentrating on reading a book with a gaudy cover. It made me feel that there are like me.
I looked up at books on the top of the shelves, and climbed up a stepladder to take one of these books, William Gibson's "Idoru". I also sat on the floor and started reading "Idoru" surrounded by the smell of book worms. I really enjoyed Strand Book Store.
Next day I found Borders at Columbus Circle. Borders, which was the second biggest book store chain in the US, had gone bankrupt, so they literally sold EVERYTHING in the store, not only books, CDs and DVDs but also shelves, chairs and signs. I looked for a real find, but I couldn't find anything good. I wanted big book shelves, but of course I couldn’t go back to Japan carrying them on my back.
Amazon.com killed Borders and will kill Barnes & Noble, but I think that Strand Book Store will survive against Amazon.com.
In the future I will probably read newspapers, magazines and new books on a tablet or a smartphone. It's also possible that I won't read any of them but get information through websites. But I have a strong conviction that I'll never stop reading old books that are actually printed on real paper with the smell of book worms. There are a certain number of people like me in the big cities like New York or Tokyo, and they can keep book stores like Strand Book Store in business.
And Strand Book Store is worth visiting for me because of its smell of book worms. I am an animate being who can't live without the smell of book worms, and there are living beings of the same species on this planet earth. We don't smell book worms at all, but rather plastic, in Borders and Barns & Noble. They are too clean and new.
We are in danger of dying out, aren’t we? If it’s true, we’ll be dying with such old book stores like Strand Book Store