Elegy for Sweet Briar
2011-11-11, 5:32 p.m.
Goddammit, ANOTHER bookstore in town is going out of business. This one is the remaining "good" used bookstore (there's one remaining in town, but they're more about obscure research books that are way above my brain level) that was a few blocks from my house that I'd go hang out in on Sunday afternoons. They had a great research wall of hippie-dippie topics, philosophy, and psychology that I spent a lot of time going through. I hardly ever bought any actual fiction from them, really.
As per bookstore closings, the store today (on the first day of the liquidation sale) was bizarrely packed. I'm used to there being 1-3 people in there at any given time (uh...yeah, that's why it's going out of business), and I was not used to having like 20-30 people in the place and people standing around where I was reading. But unlike the Borders sale, it wasn't so crowded that I couldn't park myself somewhere and actually read through the books. So there was that. The owner of the store was there ringing people up-- I had never, ever seen her before in my life. Which is odd.
I found a few replacement books for ones I"d lost, got one fiction book, one knitting book, and one "spiritual crafts" book that an employee told me she'd been eyeing herself. I didn't know what to say to that other than thinking, "Erm, well, you had your chance..." I picked up several books I myself had eyed over the last year, but caved in and bought them. I got a book on dreams-- not my usual area of anything, but it was interesting-- and a book on walking in Los Angeles. I know, right? The author starts out by talking about how he wanted to get a license plate that said "WALK LA" and the DMV rejected it at first and made him write some essay explaining it! What?!
It would have normally been 100+ bucks, got it all for $84. Well, that's still cheaper than the Borders sale, anyway. Given my attempting to save money...or I should be, anyway...okay, it's a store going out of business. That's a special occasion...in a sad way.
Weirdly enough, the school newspaper this week kept publishing articles on new businesses in town every day (in between the businesses closing...) and claiming that the economy is getting better. And yet, the freaking Ben and Jerry's is getting booted out of their lease for not making enough money. What?! What is this world coming to? A lot of shit, that's what.
And also, no bookstores. I seriously have to think to myself, what's left in town? The Christian bookstore (ugh), the textbook bookstores (dull), the aforementioned remaining used bookstore, the thrift stores, the campus bookstore that has somewhat good selection of non-textbook books, and the indie bookstore. Wonder how many of those will be left by the time I leave.
Goddammit, I'm going to have nowhere to sit around browsing at any more, am I?