Over the weekend I went into a Best Buy. I checked out some music and some movies, then went looking for the software shelves. There weren’t any.
I don’t know if you shop at Best Buy very often, but no tech-centered store does more to stay abreast of current trends. When MP3 players got hot, Best Buy made room. Now that mobile phones are all the rage they are also center stage at Best Buy. Still, the fact that there was no boxed software came as quite a shock to someone who has watched the PC revolution from its infancy.
But it was nothing compared with the shock I felt when I found myself staring at actual physical books for sale. Sure, the shelf was an orphaned unit, awkwardly placed. And the selection was small — maybe thirty titles in all. But there they were, mostly music-related titles, defiantly low-tech in a high-tech store that couldn’t be bothered to stock software. If I ever needed confirmation that books will never die, that was it.
This anachronism also prompted me to recall what I believe to be my only-ever visit to a Borders store. It came a month ago or so in Manhattan, and the whole time I was wandering around looking at titles I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was visiting a terminally ill patient in a hospital. [ Read more ]