26.1.05

Small is better

Bookslut mentioned this article in the Independent. It offers two different takes on the nature of bookselling - one writer works for a Small Shop and the other works for a Large Shop (I'm guessing Waterston's).

I know that some of us do not have the opportunity to choose where we shop for books. My parents, for example, live in an area that until recently had no bookstores (now there's the book department at Wal-Mart and a nice, huge Barnes & Noble) so they shopped on Amazon. I tried, with minimal success, to suggest Powells as a better alternative.

That got me thinking. If you could have the choice, which would you choose? For me, it's a no-brainer: smaller is better. Yes, the "collection" might be (often is, in fact) smaller but I've never been in a small bookstore that hasn't offered to order the book for me. And the people are more receptive to my comments (unlike Barnes & Noble, where I was once told that Bronowski's Ascent of Man was definitely a self-help book and that A.N. Roquelaure's Beauty's Punishment was horror and that they wouldn't move the books to the more appropriate sections of anthropology and erotica).

The Littleton Diner touts the following

RECIPE FOR AN AMERICAN RENAISSANCE:
-- Eat In Diners
-- Ride Trains
-- Put a Porch on Your House
-- Shop on Main Street
-- Live in a Walkable Community


("Recipe For An American Renaissance" by Randy Garbin, publisher of Roadside Magazine, Worcester, Massachusetts)

Amen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with what was written about the steps to take toward an American Renaissance. The more I think of it, the more I see that we've gone 180 degrees from each of the points listed.

-- Eat in Diners - Most locally owned diners get crowded out by franchised cookie-cutter establishments. Note to self...frequent the few remaining diners and learn the names of the proprietors.

--Ride Trains - Perhaps one of the most difficult for me as this rural location has limited mass transit and what we do have doesn't involve railroads. On the other hand, I have posted here in my office a schedule and fare for the Amtrak Texas Eagle. I have had the best of intentions but haven't acted on them. Note to self...add this to my "Before I'm Gone" list!

-- Put a Porch on Your House - I have a wonderful back porch...does that count?

-- Shop on Main Street - The community where I live is going through a lot of business growth...the unfortunate thing is that it is definately taking away business from the older, downtown merchants.

-- Live in a Walkable Community - Gosh! Do I walk anywhere? Sure, I walk from my car into the office from the parking lot. Yes...I do make it a point to park in the first available parking slot at the grocery store (while laughing at those that circle the lot until the coveted front rows spaces become available), but I have to face it that I do not live in a "walkable" community. Suggestions?

Great Post Rose/LazyGal

~~CoCo

Anonymous said...

>> -- Eat In Diners
Because why bother cooking for just us 2, when we have very different food tastes/needs.
>> -- Ride Trains
Much more comfortable than planes. I'm trying to figure out when we can take a trans-Canada train trip.
>> -- Put a Porch on Your House
Already have one. Almost all the houses on this block/neighborhood have them. In good weather we all do porch visits.
>> -- Shop on Main Street
Esp. now that there's a decent supermarket again.
>> -- Live in a Walkable Community
Major reason why we moved here. We were living in a classic suburban development before this, and the kids had to be driven/bused (sp?) everywhere. If my work schedule precluded carpooling them to after-school
activities, they were trapped. When we first looked at this house, I had an instant flash of deja vu; it's very similar to the house/street/neighborhood I grew up in.