Saturday, May 03, 2014

Reading matters

In June 2012 I lamented the closure of the place where I had for yours bought my English language reading matter in Munich. That was when I bought my Kindle. I posted this at the time. At the time I was dismayed also by the fact that the shop they closed on Salvatorplatz was where Heinrich Karl Gustav Hugendubel opened for business as a bookseller in 1893.

Now it appears that they are about to close down the main store on Marienplatz opposite Munich's town hall. Unlike the Salvatorplatz branch which was housed in beautiful and very ancient premises, the big city centre store is in a building of dubious architectural merit.

But that is not the point. 

While I do not hesitate to embrace the digital and now spend my money on books which are zapped by Amazon directly to my reading device, I refuse to accept that those who do as I do... and we are more each year... are killing the traditional bookshop. Yes, the day of the overpriced 'trade paperback' bought for fleeting entertainment may be numbered. But books in hard covers, beautifully designed, printed and bound will be even more sought after as the tangible and collectable is valued as a contrast to ephemeral bits and bytes. The clever proprietor of a bookshop will be getting ready to satisfy this new category of demand, not shutting up shop and making way for a MacDo or worse.

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