The Death of the Bookshop

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The year is 2084. Cold, steel benches line a vast warehouse, on top of which sit hundreds of vacant, motionless humans. There is no sound but that of steady breathing, which forms a low and constant rumble across the blank, unwelcoming room. Existence is going on here, and life too, invisibly, somewhere deep inside the minds of the apparently lifeless people. The world is not as we know it; contact between life forms has ceased to happen as a tangible embracement of human nature. Physical objects do not exist. This is all there is to the outer eye. Stillness, silence, the deathly absence of animation lingering amongst an abundance of static, wasted bodies.

The Digital Age: A Nightmarish Vision

As one contemplates the air of indifference and speed with which the time “They” now call “The Digital Age” propels forwards, it is hard not to get sucked into a nightmarish vision like this one. Sometimes it feels like all of life’s little pleasantries are simply slipping through one’s fingers like sand, getting sucked into a giant machine and being compressed into thin air.

It is somewhat of a challenge to comprehend the millions of signals blipping around in the ether, not to mention the whole telephone thing; you can just hear someone’s voice through a machine even though they are on the other side of the world, what is up with that?

What if it Goes too Far?

The next big thing that seems to be disappearing uncontrollably into this metaphysical space everyone seems to find so pleasing is books. Crisp, white pages made out of actual wood from actual trees, with words printed on them in – gasp – actual ink. The arrival of the “Kindle” is one of the primary marking features of this descent into ethereal possessions. With it’s boastful convenience sucking people into a false world of literature, it seems that actual books will soon have no other purpose than firewood. Scratch that, does anyone actually have a real wood-burning fire anymore?

Yes, the world today is generally an amazing place to live in, and technological advancements are a kind of mind-boggling new form of beauty, but what if it all goes too far? It appears that there are less and less objects that can be actually picked up and held in one’s own hands by the minute. Money is starting to seem increasingly old fashioned; in a few years the idea of embossed metal coins will most probably seem as laughable as the fantastical vision of trading cows for beans.

A Lazy Species

Convenience does not always mean advancement; sure it’s easy to sit on the sofa and shop from home, but when did it become such a major pain in the ass to actually do stuff? Just because we don’t have to, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Bookshops across the country are shutting down in their masses, because it’s simply all available online. It’s a dying trade, just like most other stuff that doesn’t have the ability to, to borrow a word from Rowling, apparate itself straight into our lazy, unmotivated laps through the power of the Internet. Sceptical this all may seem, because it is. Maybe I am old before my time. By the by, I hope you enjoyed reading this online article. 

India Johnson

I have a degree in English from Leeds Uni and love to write. I like music, pretty words, films (especially French films) and books (especially American lit).


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