I was out yesterday and drove past a closed bakery. I started thinking about how sad I am when a bakery closes. Not for the obvious reason the I love bakeries and the goods they provide but because it means that someone’s dreams have come to an end.
You could argue with me that the closing of any store indicates that dreams have been dashed and you are right.
But I would argue that closing a bakery or an independent book store are sadder.
In my mind, the person who opens a bakery is full of optimism and creativity. They are going to share their gift of baking with the world. They are creative and are able to make beautiful things. They provide the tasty treat for the birthday party, the secret nibble to get you through, and the cookies for the book club.
They are the generator of tasty beautiful treats for your various events.
And they have had to give up. Someone’s dream of selling their specialty has died. I feel bad for them. The empty store front, the lost jobs, the sad empty windows…
I feel bad for closed independent book stores also. I am sure that the independent bookseller and I have things in common. We both love books. We love places that have books, where you can talk about books, and even smell books.
There is less hope these days for the independent bookseller than the baker. People will always love baked goods and the bakery is not as threatened by on line competition. Books are so accessible on line or on an e reader that actually going to an independent that doesn’t have the advantage of selling millions of books to cut the prices is, I fear, a joy of days gone by. But in the current economy, any small store is threatened.
So for both the baker and the bookseller, I feel sad but I also feel bad for all of us. We will now miss the love and talents that are lost to the closing.