You'd think that I would gush tears and smile warmly at everyone who expresses sympathy because our local Borders store will soon be gone.
I realize that the friends and neighbors who frequent our bookstore are upset because their usual 'hangout' will cease to exist. And I feel bad for those families who will miss our children's storytime. Those are the people who come in and actually BUY books. Those are the people who do not sit in the café and read books and magazines and leave piles of them all over the place. Those are the people who don't come in just because we have free WiFi. Those are the people who don't let their children run wild in the Kid's section. They respect the store and the employees and prove it every time they visit. They are our 'real' customers. They are the ones who see my tears and receive my hugs.
I'm affected by those who say "I'm sorry" and don't really mean it. Those are the people who rarely come in, and when they do, they take pictures of books via their phones, and then go to the café and order those books on Amazon.com. Those are the people who look the other way when their children destroy books and toys. Those are the people who constantly haggle for a better discount.
Their false sympathy tends to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
I will miss our cherished customers, many of whom are now our friends. One of the nicest compliments I received from one of them was, "Please let me know when you'll be working in another bookstore. I really rely on your recommendations!"
That customer buys 'real' books, which does my heart proud. Of course I'll keep in touch with her. She and I both realize that we all need to keep brick-and-mortar bookstores in business.
The citizens of this country need jobs, and when you actually buy something from a 'real' store, you are contributing to someone's paycheck. You are helping that person pay for groceries,
Believe me when I say that the job you save might be your own.