The Sadness of Disappearing Used Book Stores

starlight Starlight Books in Newmarket, Ontario, has closed. Not big news to a lot of people. I was sad to see it gone this week when I drove by on my way to visit my sister in Newmarket. I used to live in the area. Starlight books was one of my favourite places for about 20 years. Now its gone.  The Facebook page is missing, not even a note to say good bye. The website is just a dead link.

Technology killed the little community book store.

Where will all the secondhand books go when there are few (or none left at all) places to trade books? The best thing about Starlight and the other secondhand bookstores is being able to bring in books I’ve read and find more from the same author, or take the risk of a new author.

Used book stores are opportunities for readers. Not just finding old books no longer in the big retail stores, but books in stock catered to the reader rather than the shopper. Also, when I exchange books I can select a few for free then. This was the best time to try someone new, a book I would have passed up as too expensive to take a chance on otherwise.starlightbooks

How much is the literary world losing as the used bookstores fade away? Likely more than many people realize.

It’s not a co-incidence that Starlight thrived and grew for at least 20 years (that much time since I’ve been shopping there) and all at once has now closed. I’ve talked to the local used bookstore here too. She says there is more stock coming in and less being bought (or traded out again). The paranormal genre which was selling so quickly is now slumbering too. That doesn’t help as they come in and stay, taking up space now.

Less space consuming are the ebooks, of course. The approaching paperless swarm of electronic books many people buy but only a few actually seem to read. It’s the buying that counts though, not the reading.

I do feel sad for the future of the paperback especially. Will all those printed words end up in landfills? No longer able to find new readers at the community book shops.

What will happen to writers too? There may be book buyers but are there still book readers?

Anne of Green Gables at Christmas

L. M. Montgomery can’t be here to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. But, Anne of Green Gables continues to bring us kindred and Christmas spirits in this book of Christmas stories. Anne is not in every story, the book is a collection of short stories in the Christmas theme, all written by L. M. Montgomery, two of them are taken from the Anne of Green Gables series.

I have loved Anne of Green Gables since I read the first book as a little girl. Every book in the series continues the story of Anne. Starting as an orphan sent to the wrong home. Then going to school and meeting her best friend, Diana and her nemesis (at the time) Gilbert Blythe. Later Anne and Gilbert marry and have children and a home again at Green Gables. But, it is a long journey from her early days as an orphan beloved by the old brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla.

L.M. Montgomery wrote more than the Anne of Green Gables books. This Christmas collection gives a glimpse of her other characters and stories. Each of the stories can be read by children or adults but Lucy Maud did write some stories for adults, people already grown up and facing the world and life as an adult. I hope more of her grown up stories get into reprints.

One thing I always like about reading classic stories is the history taken from life at the time. Not imagined or recreated but actually lived. Life before computers and technology. When cars were new and phones were not something you carried around in your pocket. More than just technology has changed our modern life, however. Before people had so much less and had to make more of what they needed versus getting it replaced at the store. I like reading about such a different life, written by the woman who lived in those days and that age. Classic books not only give us a story but a record of history and life in the past.

Start the New Year with the whole Anne of Green Gables series.

Urgh…

Today’s title is a sound, not an actual word.

I am tired and I don’t know why. True I took a book to bed with me last night and read about 150 pages before I finally turned out the light. But, I also slept in. That should equal out, right?

But, I started taking medication for depression and OCD (which is short for obsession, really). I didn’t really think I had any abnormal hang ups until I started looking at the things I do a bit closer. I do have a lot of focus for details, especially once something catches my interest. I do get fussy about the smallest things, having them right. Not that I’m a tidy neat freak. Apparently though, being a neat freak is not actually required. Being a hoarder is the other side of the bucket.

Don’t get pictures of hoarders you see on TV. I’m not that extreme. I keep it to one room, mostly. I don’t bring food around here, other than coffee and the occasional snack which I am careful about. I don’t have mice and the only bugs are those attracted to my hoard of paper, not crumbs of food. So, I’m not a disaster of a hoarder. Just a hoarder light. I did get quite a bit of it cleaned up too but it seems to be creeping back. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.

I think the medicine I’m taking is making me tired. That is one of the side effects but I thought by now (over the first month of taking them) Id’ be past that. The tired comes over me all of a sudden. If you have ever taken an allergy pill (anti-histamine) you will know what that’s like. One minute you are fine the next you can’t possibly seem to keep your eyes open and your body wants to melt down and rest on the floor (or something softer if you can pull yourself together long enough). Maybe not everyone reacts to allergy pills that way. I find even the non-drowsy pills get me.

I’m mostly back to working on my sites again. Still getting sucked into little details rather than starting in on the bigger jobs like all those photographs for the exploration which need to be posted to Flickr (no posts since 2013!) and now my own urban exploration site, Wrecky Rat Bird. I also want to find a simple way to watermark my photos. This gets complicated because I don’t want to watermark my originals, just a web copy. Also, I have a lot of photos on Flickr but my originals from years past are burned on CDs and I’m not sure where they are in the clutter. Another thing, I found one of my saved CD’s but it was broken in half. Discouraging. So I guess that is all part of why I keep putting off the big job of posting my photos. Instead I’m fluffing around with plugins which I could really not bother with compared to the actual photo content which I do need.

There won’t be an image with this post. I’m mostly writing to keep myself awake and it seems to be working. So far. But, I need to get more done than this today. I should have gone out to the grocery store but I put that off for another day. I did the same thing yesterday. Urgh and bleh! There are days like that.

Fight Dream Hope Love

les miserables
I read Les Miserables last year. It was a long book. I am writing a review of the book on Squidoo and found this wallpaper while looking for images to post. I like the words at the top. Inspiring for me as I try to make changes to myself and get back to running my sites again.

I started swimming at the YMCA, once a week so far.

After 50 Kindly Disappear

dead after 50After turning 50 or so I think the rest of the people on the planet expect us to just drop off or disappear at the least.

I laughed in a sick way when filling out this survey. I feel like an expired library book. I’m just months away from the next and final designation/ destination.

Do they really think there are so few people online (or capable of using a keyboard) once you get to be 50? Are we just too far gone to matter then? Are all our ideas and opinions too diluted by our …  umm…  Alzheimers?

Warm Your Feet with Slippers this Winter

My Mother has decided to make slippers for Christmas this year. She knits. I crochet and sew. We have tried two patterns found online so far. One did work but the slippers are pretty huge and floppy. I do like the chocolate brown colour she knit them in. They remind me of the sweater she knit me when I was still in high school, same colour and same style of knit.

We have looked at a lot of patterns. Some just don’t look right. Some are too cute for me to consider – maybe if I were still a child. Some patterns look so complicated I don’t think I’d want to start them as just a light-hearted project. But, a few look great. One I especially like but it’s a knit pattern and we need to get out and buy a set of four knitting needles for it. We haven’t done that yet. (It’s on the to-do list).

This whole winter slipper project started because I have bought so many slippers and then found them disappointing. One pair actually lasted a second winter, but then I decided to get a fresh pair and used the pink furry stuff they were made from for a holiday gingerbread man I was sewing up. If I had known those were the last slippers I would find to be good, I would have kept them. I bought three other pairs after that. All of them fell apart, became worn out or were awful because they didn’t have some tread – especially bad when the floors are a bit wet in the kitchen or bathroom.

So on the project goes. Between the two of us we will create a great pair of slippers, one method or another. I haven’t bought a pattern book, but looking online does make it tempting. I found one pair made from felt, those look warm and toasty for a cold winter.

One interesting thing I’ve discovered – in the US people leave their shoes on in the house. As a Canadian this sounds really odd. We take our shoes off at the door. That’s why we wear slippers in the house. Or, socks or just bare feet, if we don’t have slippers to put on.