So That’s What A Book Looks Like

While the sale of e-books continues to skyrocket, traditional bookstores continue to fight for customers attention.
While the sale of e-books continues to skyrocket, traditional bookstores continue to fight for customers attention.
The Second Story Books store at Dupont Circle has become somewhat of a rare books landmark in the neighborhood.
The Second Story Books store at Dupont Circle has become somewhat of a rare books landmark in the neighborhood.
At Second Story Books carts full of books are placed outside the store for customer to purchase under an apparent honor system.
At Second Story Books carts full of books are placed outside the store for customer to purchase under an apparent honor system.
The eclectic bookstore offerings and old-fashioned displays add significant character to the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
The eclectic bookstore offerings and old-fashioned displays add significant character to the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
While traditional books continue to appeal to an older generation, today's youth is not so taken with nostalgia.
While traditional books continue to appeal to an older generation, today’s youth is not so taken with nostalgia.

I’m always fascinated by bookstores.  Never mind that long ago I made the transition to e-readers, though, because no matter this surrender to the modern era, I still can’t resist the lingering nostalgia that comes from having been part of the pre-Internet generation.  Not that my memory of simpler times leads to any sale during my visits (carrying a camera all day seems enough for me these days), but rather that in the process of transitioning to the digital age, all sorts of things were admittedly lost in the process.  The physical sensation that comes from walking between rows and rows of books, the orderly lack of uniformity and topics on the shelves, and the childish satisfaction that accompanied the process of purchasing a book.  All great things, but perhaps more relevant to an era when physical access to a whole slew of bookstores was more the norm rather than an exception.  Notwithstanding this reality, bookstores out there are not giving up without a fight and seem to have figured something out by concentrating in neighborhoods that do away with the need for anyone to get into a car to reach them.  This is good news.  But is this a last stand or the wave of the future?  Hard to say.  What I know is that bookstores are still out there, and that just in case, we must all enjoy them while we can.