The unremarkable trend of indie bookstores eschewing Wifi and mobile devices has spread to Wyoming.
UPI and an indeterminable number of copycat sites report that Wind City Books in Casper, Wyoming, has a policy which bans all mobile devices. The bookstore doesn’t even have Wifi, and from the way the store’s owner makes it sound this store might never have had it:
Forget partying like it’s 1999, a Wyoming bookstore wants customers to live like it’s 1993: sans personal electronics. Owner Vicki Burger has banned Wi-Fi and electronics in her bookstore, Wind City Books, in an attempt to get customers to actually read books (imagine that!), reports KTWO-TV.
A sign posted on her storefront asks customers to leaver their cell phones and computers in their bags as they enter “a place for books.”
“Take a break. Live like it’s 1993. Emails can wait,” the sign reads. According to Burger, customers have wholeheartedly embraced her rules, saying the bookstore is an oasis of peace and quiet.
Various sources are reporting that this is a new ban, but UPI makes it sound like this has been going on for a while now. In fact, the ban might actually predate the trend of offering free Wifi in bookstores, which just goes to show that if you resist a fad long enough you can be at the forefront of the counter-movement.
Edit: This video no longer plays for me, either.
That said, I don’t understand the pushback against mobile devices in bookstores. The “bookstores are for books” meme implies that ebooks aren’t books, and that there’s no positive value in using a smartphone while browsing for paper books.
Apparently the ban supporters see no value in browsing Goodreads for reviews, or looking up one’s library to make sure one doesn’t buy a second, third, or fourth copy of a title (I have done that, actually).
I rarely carry a smartphone into a bookstore, but when I do it is more of a tool than a distraction.
How about you?