Yesterday, our very own Alison appeared on KPFK’s Uprising Radio show to discuss the closure of Borders. You can find a link to the clip at the bottom, but before we get to it, she had some additional thoughts to share about bookstores, ebooks, the future, and doing a (live!) radio interview. Check it out:
Howdy Vroman’s blog readers. If we have not met, I am Alison, Assistant Promotional Director for Vroman’s Bookstore. You many have met me as I hosted a store event or maybe even as a cashier when I started here nine years ago. Today is a monumental day in my Vroman’s career; I did my first interview as a Vroman’s representative (I should also mention this is my first contribution to the blog, appalling I know). I have been asked to step in from time to time, but have often shied away from the pressure, but today I took the bullet (well, it wasn’t quite a bullet). My first interview was mild and calm, no surprises or “gotchas” here, but it was live, adding to my nerves. I was fortunate enough to interview with Sonali Kolhatkar on her program Uprising, which airs on KPFK 90.7, along with Andie Laties, author of Rebel Bookseller: Why Indie Businesses Represent Everything You Want to Fight For, From Free Speech to Buying Local to Building Communities.
I contemplated listening to this interview at all, knowing my type A personality would dissect every little detail I forgot, but I listened and I survived. Upon listening and reflecting, I feel much like I did after my debates in junior high, or an intense discussion with a former boyfriend about our future: that feeling of not remembering the words I wanted to say until after the moment had passed. So in presenting you with my radio debut, I also would like to fill in the blanks with a couple of my thoughts that I wanted to emphasize and share:
- The digital economy is a challenging environment, and the loss of Borders has proved that we can no longer take for granted establishments that we find important in our communities, and to our society. In the end, we need to put our money where our mouths are and think about our communities and what we want them to look like in the future, and continue to build the foundation for that future. As we have seen, there are lasting consequences for our bargain hunting consumerism.
- I know it sounds cliché and out dated to say that I love that feel of an actual book in my hands as I curl up in my papasan and read, but I really do. I love tangible books not just because I don’t want to stare at a screen after sitting at my computer all day, but I love the memories and meaning attached to them. The memories of reading my friend’s daughter Max & Ruby’s Bedtime Book after giving it to her for her fifth birthday, and later hearing it was her nightly request; of lending a silly chick-lit book to my best friend to help her through a breakup since it had done the trick for me; to one day pass down my copy of Pride and Prejudice to my daughter (I recently indulged myself by purchasing the Penguin Classics hardcover edition bound in linen with the swans on it); and of discovering new connections and perceptions of the people that surround me by simply poking around the books on their shelves or desk, these memories are priceless and simply not conducive in the digital world.
- With that said, I have friends that have e-readers and use them religiously and maybe one day I will to, which is why it is key to recognize the importance and future of the book market, and not to alienate this demographic. My simple request to my friends and customers is that if you decide to go digital, please do so on a platform that can be supported by your local bookstores. We are pleased to sell Google e-books—you can even use your Google log-in to access your account on our Vroman’s website—that can be read on a variety of e-readers such as Android devices, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad/iPod, etc.
So, without further ado, roll the tape!