|Monti (left) at Nov. 2011 book signing, Twice Told Tales|
Probably, yes and no.
Since my first novel, Hearts Across Forever, was released by Oak Tree in 2001, the publishing world has been changing. Maybe I noticed it more because soon after my book came out, 9/11 happened. That caused the cancellation of one of my first signings.
From that time on, the presence of independent bookstores appeared to decline. For a while, Twice Told Tales had stores in three communities, then it shrunk to one. The Waldenbooks I especially liked went from many locations to just a few. My favorite in Hilton Head, SC closed. The story of the many closings goes on and on.
In the meantime, amazon.com was growing. Then, it really took off. Last night, I watched the Brian Williams Rock Center TV program and was amazed by the enormous size of the Amazon fulfillment center they were visiting. The size of 28 football fields, the reporter Harry Smith said. That's big enough, but it's also three stories high. That's mind-boggling. There are 40 of these fulfillment centers throughout the country. That's even more mind-boggling. Amazon tries to stock everything they can get their hands on, Smith said.
The Amazon giant is overwhelming. No little store can compete.
We all like sitting in front of our computers where it's comfortable and ordering whatever we need or want. But it's also comfortable being in a neighborhood bookstore meeting the people who read your books.
Sorry to see you leave us, Twice Told Tales. Thank you, Nancy Halstead, for bringing your smile to Gloucester.
(Santa will be at Twice Told Tales on Saturday, December 1 in celebration of the Christmas parade.)
--Mary Montague Sikes