The inspiration for this piece came after reading an article in the New York Times by Timothy Egan. The piece told the story of the last bookstore in Laredo, Texas closing down and how this event coincided with sales of the Kindle beating those of traditionally published books on Amazon.com. As a graduate with a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University, a writer, and an avid reader, this news sounded blasphemous. Something, it occurred to me, had to be said in response.
My mouthpiece, it turned out, was a sixty-five year old woman named Elba Bascombe. This character is my prophet meant to warn the world of the potential dangers of sacrificing tradition, real, authentic books made out of paper, and real, authentic relationships for plastic surfaces and superficial human interactions. She is at times self-righteous, at times disconnected, but above all human and ultimately flawed in the very idealism that makes her sympathetic.
As a writer, I too feel disconnected from a world that moves faster than me, a world obsessed with technology and the next innovation. With this story I simply ask readers to slow down and take stock of what is important to them. My prophet’s fall is tragic. Her story doesn’t have to be.