BASS: Bookstore’s demise a symbolic moment in time
At Second Glance Bookstore will be closing its doors later this year, probably before the end of November.
A fixture in Kamloops for 13 years, owner Pat DiFrancesco said it’s time.
Books with that weight and feel and smell are finding it harder to compete with the digital world.
Even DiFrancesco acknowledges that, if she wants to find information now, she’s more likely to call up a search engine than open a book.
Listening to her talk about the impending closure made me feel a bit guilty, though.
I’m not alone in this complicity, though. There are plenty other Kamloopsians out there who have bought Kindles, Kobos and other e-readers.
We’re reading books online, listening to them on our MP3 player — all the while hammering one more nail into the coffin that holds the private bookstore industry.
Now, truth be told, I still buy books. In fact, I’ve got paperback and hardcover versions of books I also have on my Kindle.
I’ve got multiple copies of some books, the result of publishers repackage novels and me not being smart enough to remember that I bought that one and read it about 15 years ago.
In fact, if you came into our house, you’d find a stack of books at the top of the stairs, waiting to be taken downstairs to the shelves that are piled three and four levels high with books.
There’s another stack in the middle of the kitchen table, books I just read — or, in many cases, reread — in the past couple of weeks.
When we moved to B.C. from Ontario, the company hired to lug the belongings this family of seven were stunned to see the number of boxes of books to be transported.
Apparently, our move was ranked as “way heavy.”
The first trip we took to Vancouver after moving here was spent hunting down and then luxuriating in used bookstores.
There are books on the shelves in the basement that I bought in high school — and I graduated years before Bill Gates got together with Paul Allen to come up with their first computer.
So, why did I get a Kindle?
The answer is simple.
I love books and using a suitcase to lug them to the cabin every summer — a suitcase that was bigger than the one holding my clothes for the trip — just seemed kind of dumb.
It’s so much easier to have this wonderful electronic marvel that can hold dozens and dozens of books.
I can head down to the dock at the lake with my sunscreen, my deck chair and my Kindle and spend hours reading.
Yes, I know in doing so I’m just adding to the millions and millions of bucks sitting in the bank account of Amazon creator and CEO Jeff Bezos.
That’s got to be a sizable chunk of change, given Amazon’s revenue last year was more than $47 billion.
I’m going to miss At Second Glance.
I’ll miss walking through the stacks and stacks of books with my head at a 45-degree angle, reading the titles.
I’ll miss wandering into a section of books on a topic I’d normally not be interested in or about which I know little — and finding gems.
I’ll miss bumping into friends there or just shimmying around other book lovers as we make our way around all those pages, trying not to trip on the stools and chairs scattered throughout the store.
Local author Marg Archibald was in the crowd that gathered as DiFrancesco announced her intentions.
Another book lover, she was a bit teary, even though she had heard days before of the closure.
It was a symbolic moment, she said later, one of those moments when the world has changed so much and some things are over.
That they’re gone — and that it is very sad.