Fortnightly Flotsam: Bookstores, Classics, Cockroach Investing, Lamest Vacation Ever, Days of Turmoil for the Nethers
For the Love of Mustiness, Save the Bookstores!
Bookstores are on their heels. Getting hit first by Amazon and then COVID? You might as well use both shotgun barrels to kill a toad.
Still, they’re adapting. Used bookstores seem like they’re doing okay (I base this solely off my haphazard strolls around various cities like Boston and Charleston . . . please assume nothing empirical, reliable, or even responsible in that statement).
I think used bookstores offer a unique appeal.
When you find a good used bookstore with reasonable prices, you’ve find a gem. When I walk into a good used bookstore, I quickly take in my surroundings, looking for indications that it offers more than trashy romances. If so, I plunge into a serene sense of urgency: I want to find some out-of-print or normally-expensive books (the urgency), nothing else matters (the serenity). I smell the musty bindings and the only question is: how long can I keep standing? But that’s just the start of it. The third part of the magic is finding the books you want, or maybe stumbling across books that you didn’t even know existed, but, upon glancing through it, want. And if you see it’s reasonably-priced, well, it’s excitement time.
The above was prompted by a neat little essay at Front Porch Republic (essay here) about how a small town bookstore was barely saved from the Amazon-COVID thrashing by, among other things, launching a successful GoFundMe campaign. The rescue event is now the subject of a documentary that is available on Amazon for $5.99.
It sounds like the new classics website is going well. They provided a nifty overview of their first year. They didn’t provide links to many of the articles they reference. There’s this one, for instance:
a graduate student’s…