Friday, December 30, 2011

In the Act of Researching

I wish another poem would hit me on the head, or that I could pull together a few paragraphs about landscapes and why I love the North Carolina Piedmont, but here I am still distracted by The Decision. Your comments below and on Facebook are appreciated.

I am doing the research for this decision via Google and Bing of course, and as is the way with those searches, one path leads to another to another. I have read a well-deserved rant from a bookstore owner who sees Amazon as a personal enemy, and I have read reactions to that rant from writers, customers, people who live in bookstore deprived places and appreciate Amazon. Amazon and ebooks stir strong emotions, it turns out, and the people who commented on the bookman's original blog seem to feel they have to choose sides and fight.

I myself love my Kindle, and I love bookstores. I shop for ebooks and for print books. Sometimes what I want is instant gratification: hear the author interviewed on All Things Considered, own the ebook before the segment ends. Sometimes, I want a good long browse in a store, especially through the cookbooks.

Can't we all get along?

A bunch of indie bookstores, including Flyleaf in Chapel Hill, are offering a Third Way. I can buy ebooks through their websites. Eurika. Sad for me, they sell Google ebooks. Google and Amazon (seller of the Kindle) don't play together, but I can read Google ebooks on my computer and my Ipod Touch, so I can participate in the Third Way.

Here's my dream: bookstores exist and thrive. I can wander into one, browse the tables and shelves, look at photos, read blurbs, etc. Then if I want a novel on my Kindle or whatever, I go to a kiosk and download it. If I want the newest cookbook with the gorgeous pictures and slick paper, I tote it to the checkout counter. Yes, we can all get along.

Yes, we can all get along.

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