Now that I don’t work in the CBD, and don’t walk down Queen St every day, I can’t get used to not seeing the iconic Borders bookshop below the cinemas.
“I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s just not there anymore!” I lamented to T on Diwali weekend as we passed the dark, hollow building, plastered with ‘For Lease’ signs.
“You know why they had to close? Because of people like you, who go in there and read for hours without buying anything,” he replied without missing a beat.
While that’s not the whole truth – the book and CD industry is in near terminal decline – people like me didn’t exactly help stem the demise.
In fact, when it comes to putting my money where my mouth is, I fall so far short it’s not funny.
I love books, but I’ve never been a book buyer. I’ve had a library card ever since I can remember.
I love good writing, full stop, but I don’t pay for it. Given that this is how I earn a crust … yikes. I don’t have any magazine subscriptions, and I’ve never donated to, say, Longreads, though I adore what they’re doing. In short, I grew up in the age of free content, and wound up in the heart of that industry. I’m part of the problem.
I love music, but hate to pay for it. I spent most of my childhood first taping songs off the radio, then pirating music in my teens. Now I pay to attend concerts, but we’re now well and truly into the age of streaming music, which costs nothing as long as I’m connected to the web.
I love good food, but am loath to pay for good ingredients. We do from time to time – good cheese, good meat, good ice cream, good olive oil… but eating quality is not cheap. In fact, I love food but don’t enjoy cooking. (I’m mired in a MAJOR food rut at the moment. A spot of Food TV revived a bit of interest the other night, but not nearly enough.)
Do you walk the talk when it comes to your dollars and cents?