Sunday, 30 August 2015

Books and Beyond..

Some of my fondest memories of childhood was spending hours with my mother and my father at a place called Lankmark, which you may now recognize as Starmark. It is primarily a bookstore but things like CDs, stationary, chocolates and other tit-bits of various types are also available there. When I was a child, my parents used to often take me there in the evenings and we used to spend hours flipping through this book and that. At the end before leaving I always used to cajole my father into buying me one or two Enid Blytons or bedtime stories or something like that and having spent a nice time all three of us used to return home content. It is thus very saddening for a person like me when places like Landmark, Music World and other stores like that are closing down owing to lack of sale.
The reason is very simple and yet very deep rooted. Say for example, a common sight today in both adults and children is having them keep their heads buried in their cell phones almost throughout the day. They are on their phones when they wake up, when they eat, when they talk to people, before they go to sleep. Now instead of calling up people use Whatsapp. There will be a room full of people yet no one will be talking to each other. I was once travelling in a train and there was a little girl travelling with her mother and her brother. She was so little she couldn't even speak and yet what she could do was operate a huge android phone, play videos in it, pause it and play it and increase the volume. It was very helpful for her mother to keep her baby distracted and not get cranky in the train. But it made me wonder.. will a kid like her ever grow up to like reading books or playing childish games that we used to when we were here age? I am sure most of you have come across children of like that. If cell phones occupy so much of most people's daily lives, who will go to bookstores and buy books and read them?
The modern day technology is another great advancement. We get the newest movies, songs, videos online for free. We can download ebooks and practically get everything online..I wont be a hypocrite here and accept that I am one such people who take the benefit of the wonders available online. Maybe at one point it is a good thing that these things are available online to everyone online. Video CDs and movie halls are often so expensive that they remained out of reach of many in the country until technology stepped in, Unfortunately the other side of the problem is because of this the sale of CDs and DVDs have deteriorated to a point where almost nobody buys them anymore at all. The result of all this is huge shops like starmark and music world are closing down. While it may seem like a small thing with just two shops closing it might be the end of an era, an era that existed for a hundred years.. Maybe it is for the good, a step towards something new, something better.. but maybe I am not ready for such a change yet, maybe I am not ready for people to stop reading books, maybe a lot of people are not ready yet.. Should we do something about or should we just let it be.. More importantly, can we do anything about it?

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