Friday, January 22, 2010

I love bookstores...........

I like the smell of new books, opening one that hasn't been opened yet by anyone else...aaaaaaaahhhhh......I love bookstores. I just read an article about the last book store in Laredo, TX closing.

"Laredo, Texas (CNN) -- The bookstore was Zhuara Rivera's magical "Neverland." It offered a fairy tale world for 14-year-old Rivera to get lost in stories and words.

But the books are gone. On January 16, Barnes & Noble, which owns B. Dalton, closed the store inside Laredo's Mall del Norte.

That leaves Laredo, Texas, population of 250,000, one of the largest cities in the United States without a bookstore.

The closest bookstore is now 150 miles away, in San Antonio, Texas.

"I was very shocked and I think it's very sad," Zhuara said. "I love reading. I adore reading."

Zhuara and dozens of volunteers launched a grass-roots organization called "Laredo Reads." They've started a petition drive collecting signatures to show corporate book dealers that Laredo can support a bookstore.

Laredo does have two public libraries with a catalog of more than 200,00 books. But library officials say they can't keep up with the demand for the most popular titles.

Maria Soliz, manager of the Laredo Public Library, says she hopes to expand the library's collection and expects to see an increase in library card applications.

"We do have a lot of the same customers, but there are different customers," Soliz told CNN. "They might come to the library, read the book and decide they want to buy it."

Soliz and others fear the loss of the city's bookstore will slow down efforts to improve Laredo's literacy rate. A 2003 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 48 percent of the residents of Webb County, Texas -- home to Laredo -- lacked basic literacy skills."

My thoughts -
I believe that libraries and bookstores do often complement one another and both share the love of reading. I wonder about a bookstore/public library combo - browse the books, "rent" the books or buy the books....user's choice.........of course, all will be downloadable soon anyway.....

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