Every time I enter a bookstore, I have the same thought: the last thing this world needs is another book. And then, I wonder why anyone would want to read mine (if anyone even knew of their existence).
But, people keep churning out books to fill the shelves of bookshops and computers of ebook publishers. At some point in human history, I imagine the number of books will equal the number of people.
Despite knowing that my books will have little demand (unless I spend money on advertising), I continue to write what many would label as Trash Novels. The objective is not sales: I enjoy the process and it keeps my brain chugging along at higher paces than watching reality television shows would. Some might call this “self-indulgence”, because my pleasure is more important than other people’s approval.
I like bookshops. It is difficult to pass one without stopping…at least to study the window display, if not wander in and browse. I buy more books than I need or can ever read.
Therefore, it saddens me to read about Borders closing. One of there shops was my last stop at Orlando Airport, before submitting myself to the indignities of security checks. I left my wife at McDonalds with a packet of French fries and a coke (we have very different priorities) and rushed to make a last-minute purchase (The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain). I had read a favorable review by one of my favorite Guardian columnists (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/mar/10/hadley-freeman-richardson-ernest-hemingway?INTCMP=SRCH) and had considered buying at Barnes & Noble in Miami. I had room in my backpack for one more book.
From what I have read, Borders in a case of self-inflicted wounds. Management seems to have guessed wrong on major strategic issues, whereas Barnes & Noble got some things right. The world is always changing, and good managers guess correctly more times than not. My hope is that English bookshops will hold out longer, because I expect to visit that country more than the land of disappearing bookstores.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.