Butterfly Books in De Pere, Wisconsin announced that the independent children’s bookstore will close its doors by mid-July, after 20 years in business. Hard economic times and absolutely no purchase orders from local public schools helped contribute to the store's demise. My fear is that throughout the upcoming years we will continue to see the same trend, especially with e-books, online distributors and bookstore giants like Barnes & Noble. And what I dread more than anything is physical publications disappearing altogether.
Whenever I bring up this thought, most also share that they prefer a book in hand. But we grew up having our parents reading us bedtime stories and fiddling through the card catalog at the public library (yes, I know, I just showed my age). I also grew up with no cell phones, records, and no home computer. So, sometimes it takes me awhile to jump on the new electronic bandwagon. But when a new generation starts off with the new wave, there's nothing for them to miss. And with the cost savings and technology continually improving making color and graphics better than ever, then why would a publishing house waste lots of money on something that may never even breakeven in sales?
My hope, my dream, is so that a young child can feel the joy of holding the book in hand, turning the pages, reading the words and interpreting the vivid pictures...but maybe there's joy in holding an e-reader. I haven't given in yet, so I don't know.
keep reading alive,