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It's My Fault


Raymond Coulombe

It's My Fault

I'm that guy. It's my fault. I killed bookstores.

Okay, not exactly me personally, but people like me. I used to buy about five books every week. Not only that, I subscribed to maybe half a dozen magazines every month. There was a lot of paper coming into my house on a daily basis. Much of it is still here. My office is floor to ceiling books and magazines.

Now I still love bookstores and go into them every chance I get. Funky little independents to huge mega stores, I love them all. It's wonderful to see all those books. Even the smell of bookstores is special to me. However, I purchase a whole lot fewer books than I used to.

I'm reading more than ever, but the bulk of my reading is in front of a computer screen or other electronic device. I read more books in PDF format than on actual paper. I even buy e-books, but I don't spend nearly as much money on reading material as when it was all on paper. Over time my reading habits gradually shifted until most of my reading material was electronic. Didn't even notice it was happening until the shift was well advanced.

I don't even have an Amazon Kindle. Since I live way out in the woods beyond cell phone range, it doesn't make much sense to get a device that's supposed to connect to a cell phone network. For years I've been reading books on much cheaper Palm PDA devices. Right now I'm using an old Palm TX. There's still plenty of Palm devices available for sale on e-bay. They are great for reading in bed. I turn the room lights off and just read by the light of the PDA. Lots of free e-books available on-line.

Never mind the fact that I've been one of the conspirators behind Quantum Muse. We do good work. We have a heart of gold. However, like the town floozy, we've been giving it away for free for years. It sure helps that our operating costs can be recovered by occasionally knocking over a parking meter. How can more respectable publications compete with that?

Sorry bookstores. It's not you, it's me. I love you, I really do. It's just that I can no longer afford to support you in the manner you're accustomed to. Hey, I'll do what I can, but in this economy it's tough enough to keep beans in the pantry.

Reading is an addiction, but I've found a new dealer for most of stuff.


2010-01-06 16:59:57
So true. Same here. I love to read, I buy a couple books a month, but not as many as I used to either. Just about everything's moving e-something. Cheers, and keep up the good work. Michel Racine

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