I emailed my postcards today to promote my new book "Squirrels & Puppies: Dark Morality Tales". What's sad is that the list of African American owned bookstores that I used wasn't very long. Also, as I verified each address, I found that some were closed down. The decline in bookstores is more than just an African-American problem. It's an American problem. I truly believe that our country is becoming dumber by the day. No, it's not the ebooks killing bookstores. Most people don't have ereaders, and booksellers have started moving their businesses online. It's just that too few people are reading books.
Then again, maybe it's the internet that's killing bookstores. Most people read simply to get information and the internet provides the easiest route to that information. However, reading for recreation trains your mind to read faster and thus acquire information quicker. Therefore, if most Americans don't read for recreation then most Americans will process written information slower than nations with more literate populations.
That probably doesn't even worry most of my countrymen either. The U.S. doesn't value education. We watch innumerable shows about high schools where the cool kid has a "C" average and the "A" student is a social pariah or "nerd". We even elected a president to two terms in office KNOWING he was a "C" student.
Whenever I watch my anime, they show high schools where the cool kid is the class president and has a high GPA. The rebellious kid that Americans would deem "cool" is the social outcast. In Japan, you need intelligence and manners to get ahead. In America, you need charm and good looks. That two-term president I referred to earlier was elected twice because Karl Rove did his darndest to make sure he looked like the kind of president "you could have a beer with".
Now we're in an economic crisis. Would you like to know what it takes to get out of an economic bind? Mathematical prowess, not charm and good looks. However, this is America, and we don't vote for nerds. Do I regret the turnout of the presidential election? Not really. Romney's math was off, and Obama's a charming and good-looking lawyer. We're doomed either way. Yep, I'm a cynic.
Well, maybe my book will inspire a revolution and people will run to their bookstores to read again. Here's to hoping.