Dear Mikey,

I am still bothered by the fact that the Ahwatukee Barnes & Noble store (closed Aug. 2). I remember when they first opened and I still can’t believe they are shutting their doors.

This also reminds me of when we had Blockbuster over on Warner Road, too. Now all we have are Redboxes or to buy or rent movies online or via streaming. The same is going for books now, too.

If all of these stores keep closing, we aren’t going to be able to experience things like we used to be able to years ago.

Is this a corporate issue? Who is in charge of closing all of these stores down?

— Missing the way things used to be

Dear Missing the way things used to be,

The answer to your question is we are.

By renting movies online via Netflix or buying books through we have taken business away from stores such as Barnes & Noble and Blockbuster, and that is why they are having to slowly shut their doors nationwide.

Think of how much business they had before Netflix came around, or became popular. They had all the business just like Walden Books and even Borders did, too as well as Hollywood Video and other private movie rental stores. When everything started going towards online, they were backed into a corner that they could not compete with.

The more we use and depend on technology, the less you are going to see physical book and movie stores around anymore.

You are right in the sense that we are not going to be able to experience things like we used to be able to experience years ago. That’s great we can now buy books on with the click of a button, but it doesn’t replace browsing at Barnes & Noble and turning physical pages through our fingers and feeling the different textures of book covers. That’s great we can now instantly stream a movie from our Xbox in our homes now, but it doesn’t replace standing in line at a Blockbuster running into your old friends, picking out your favorite candy and popcorn, while listening to the movie playing on the TV in the background. Those experiences cannot be replaced by the technology of today as they were great pastimes for us.

Who knows, maybe more people will see what is happening and continue to support local movie stores and bookstores and maybe sales will go up to where we can still keep a few. Or, things can keep going the way they are going, to where 30 years from now there might not be a single store left.

The choice is ours.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at

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