We Need Bookstores--We Really Do!
Or how I almost had a heart attack but then didn't because I had the chance to read...
by Kitty Griffin
We've all seen the disappearance of the neighborhood book stores. Pittsburgh used to have three independent children's bookstores.
Now there are none.
We used to have Borders. Gone.
And the Barnes and Noble we have now carries more toys than children's books.
Because we've got our e-readers. Who needs books?
WRITERS NEED BOOKS!
Well, duh, you say.
But I'm bad. I've gotten so used to my Kindle that, ho hum, I don't go to the library like I used to. I don't go to Barnes and Noble like I used to.
Obviously something happened at the bookstore. I wasn't there for a book. I was there for a cup of whole milk, chai tea latte. Not books.
Getting my tea, I went back into the very nice YA section and saw this--
and nearly fainted.
Because of the back jacket, it read: "The Inventor's Secret" is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate ninetieth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.
See, I've just finished a middle-grade
the first in a trilogy
about a girl, who happens to be a princess
in a world
the American Colonials LOST the Revolution.
Now do you understand my gnashing of teeth? I've just finished three hundred and ninety eight pages of ...
So I bought the book and zipped through it.
It's nothing like mine.
But I needed to read it. I really needed to read it. Because when my agent and I get ready to market we need to know what's out there.
Mine is NOT steampunk. Mine in middle grade.
Mine is ADVENTURE.
But now I know. And knowledge is power.
And I'm so glad I went into the bookstore for the cup of tea.
Next time I go I'm going to look at books first ... and then get a cup of tea.
But I'm so glad I spent that half-hour picking up books, holding them, and looking through them.
It's what writers need to do.
I just wish there were more book stores. I really do.