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Tibro
QUOTE
Now 76, Mr. McMurtry, the country’s highest-profile book dealer, recently decided to whittle his enterprise down to one building, which will remain open with an inventory of about 150,000 books. He said he expected the single store to be maintained by his heirs.

“One store is manageable,” he said. “Four stores would be a burden.”

This prairie town of fewer than 2,000 people, 150 miles northwest of Dallas, bakes like a piece of flatbread at this time of year. The high temperature on Thursday was 110 degrees, with not a patch of shade in sight. It was the setting for “The Last Picture Show,” the McMurtry novel and its film adaptation by Peter Bogdanovich, and the weekend’s auction was called the Last Book Sale. A playful name on its surface, it had a serious, even grim undertone given the book industry’s anxiety about the future of its printed product.


Famous author sells off stock of old printed books. Yeah, people will always show up when there's a hint of fame or notoriety involved. But do people, the general consuming public, still buy and read books on paper? I know I do. Pretty sure Grim does. Prolly a few others. Too few me thinks.

On a side note to this story, I once heard that if people sent their books by McMurtry to McMurtry through the post with return postage for him to sign and return, he wouldn't do it and he kept them. Probably sold them at his store, I guess.
Provenance
What's a book?
Tibro
That's not really the question at all. Whatever the format we'll still agree on the term for a published volume of written work.

With the biggest, most imposing brick-and-mortar bookstores retreating into memory though, the legitimate question may become, "What's a bookstore?" Especially "used bookstore"?
Provenance
What's a book is the question when you figure the number of people who aren't used to reading any lengthy text regardless of format.
Jay
The sensational experience of the way a book's binding and pages smell, as well as the tactile pleasure of holding it and turning the pages, cannot be replicated, and I hope the people of the world don't forget that.

Also, you can still read a hard copy after someone sets off an EMP or if you carry it through a magnetic field. Good luck trying that with the e-book on your Kindle or laptop.
Tibro
That's probably been true for a long time, though. The advent of TV didn't kill books. The majority of people have never used their free time by picking up a book to read as a first choice. And yet publishing has thrived and the store (and library) shelves have been a playground for those who do enjoy perusing and turning the pages.

The playgrounds are shrinking. I'm not sure the number of readers, already an elite crowd in some respect, are also shrinking though. Are they/we?
Tibro
How many books can you carry around and have available to read and cross-reference on your e-device? Would they all fit in a backpack that you'd be comfortable taking with you where ever you go?
Jay
For folks who are reading scientific/financial/technical data, many of the newest journals have already begun phasing out hard copies and are beginning to publish exclusively online. As far as non-technical reading goes, I don't usually have more than 2 or 3 books going at one time; this month, that has meant carrying around my copy of Paul Bowles' short stories and Greg Palast's Vulture's Picnic around in an actual backpack. I've got a small laptop in there too (I've managed to avoid picking up a smartphone so far), but I rarely use it.

I honestly wouldn't want to guess at how many folks do or don't read books. I'm fortunate in that I'm surrounded by friends and family that do read actual books (I've got two master librarian's as friends, and they're still enamored of the real deal), so that's going to skew my perception of how rare a breed we may truly be.
sbmac
Tibro is right. We had 5 bookstores within 10 miles in my town, only one is left. The chance of finding of something not in your thinking, a great book you stumble upon that can change the way you see the world, is nearly gone. Browsing a bookstore is tactile and meditative. Shit, most of the bigs ones starting selling toys and movies just to pay their rent before they went belly-up. At least the lone survivor in my town is an indy store, with great books. I'm not expecting them to hold out forever though. I guess I'm showing my age here by talking about the feel of a book's pages between one's fingers, and the weight of a hardbound book in your hand.
I'm used to a booklight shining on the pages, not shining up from below a screen.

rob fritz
When I try to explain to people about where I live, including the surrounding towns, one of the first things I sadly mention is the fact that no towns or city around me that have a bookstore anymore. Last one closed fifteen years ago. And I think it is before the e-book thing I guess.
Tibro
And yet I just learned about Greg Palast's Vulture's Picnic. Without stepping foot into a bookstore or talking to a seasoned, knowledgeable clerk. I'm not real happy about the way the model is changing (understatement), and I'm not real good with keeping up with the changing model (understatement). But I don't consider myself representative in any way. And I still find ways to cope.

Rob, if a new bookstore opened up in your vicinity, do you think it could maintain? What would it take? How can a bookstore focus in the current climate in a bid to be viable?
Provenance
QUOTE(Jay @ Aug 14 2012, 12:32 PM) *
experience of the way a book's binding and pages smell, as well as the tactile pleasure of holding it and turning the pages, cannot be replicated

True. Also you lose a paperback/get caught in rain/etc no big deal. I have yet to figure out how to buy a used e-book but I recently bought some used books not currently available in print in any format.

On the other hand, for text books and other heavy and/or fast changing materials, there's definitely a place for the electronic stuff.

Just riding mass transit over the years I've seen a huge shift in what people do/read. The share of riders doing any reading is down (games, video, etc are up). The share of people reading anything printed is way down.

Most (not all) of any kind of reader tend to be older. The paper readers, defintely older. There are exceptions.
Tibro
QUOTE

how to buy a used e-book

Interesting point.

Pirated e-books free for all who might be interested. Music, movies and books all in the same boat.
Provenance
While I don't care about selling used e-books, not being able to loan/give someone one, I consider a huge deal-breaker.
Père Ubu
I'm too lazy to read. I prefer audio-books. Although as a service hand I sure loved to carry a novel or two to read when stuck offshore. iPads and offshore work areas don't seem compatible.
Tibro
Agreed.

I also quite enjoy meeting authors when the opportunity avails and having them sign a copy I might have.
Jay
There's actually a way to loan an e-book out. I believe it's the Kindle which allows you to loan an e-book to another Kindle client for a couple of weeks, during which time it is "checked out of" the owner's Kindle and inaccessible from that device.

Of course, that's a proprietary set-up and I'm sure it doesn't work across all platforms (i.e., if you have a Nook and not a Kindle then you can go screw yourself).

Olympia is very lucky to have 3 independent bookstores which are somehow alive and (presumably) well: Orca Books, Last Word Books, and Browsers' Book Shop. Last Word Books is quite unique for having a large collection of actual, honest-to-god 'zines from the 80s/90s to today, Xeroxed pages with crooked staples and all.
sbmac
Loaning e-books hurts authors. They don't get royalties when this occurs.
I have a few e-books, and bought them to support the authors, but loaning them out so they could be read without the author getting a penny doesn't sit right with me…not in a world where the vendors make more than the authors do to begin with.

rob fritz
QUOTE(Tibro @ Aug 14 2012, 09:18 PM) *

And yet I just learned about Greg Palast's Vulture's Picnic. Without stepping foot into a bookstore or talking to a seasoned, knowledgeable clerk. I'm not real happy about the way the model is changing (understatement), and I'm not real good with keeping up with the changing model (understatement). But I don't consider myself representative in any way. And I still find ways to cope.

Rob, if a new bookstore opened up in your vicinity, do you think it could maintain? What would it take? How can a bookstore focus in the current climate in a bid to be viable?


A bookstore could not survive here nor a good resturant and it has nothing to do with the economic climate, too much t.v. too much store made crap and fast food is just way too prevalent. The people here, although some good ones just do not care, example, while grocery shopping today I took the time to straighten out the self service meat case because someone was just too lazy to put back the items they did not want, no I was not there for any meat, just didn't like the mess.

I can and do drive to a higher income suburb, about 40 minutes away for book shopping.
Provenance
QUOTE(sbmac @ Aug 14 2012, 02:14 PM) *
Loaning e-books hurts authors. They don't get royalties when this occurs.


By the same logic, loaning printed books has the same impact. Butt I still don't want to close down libraries.
sbmac
Hey Rob, maybe you can visit here…my local store has frozen turkeys all over the fuckin' place!
Hey man, I hope things change for October for you…. you'll be missed.
Greytail
I am with those who still appreciate a good bound book. While I do have a few on my Ipad, the ones I hold mean more to me and I read or re-read them more.


I used to collect old books bound in leather. Got too expensive. I love the smell and look of a dusty old tome though.


Makes me feel like watching "the ninth gate" now.
sbmac
That old book thing is likely why you like L'Ancienne so much. Me too.
Jay
QUOTE(sbmac @ Aug 14 2012, 10:14 PM) *

Loaning e-books hurts authors. They don't get royalties when this occurs.(snip)

Well, yes and no. I've been loaned books before, and if I truly enjoyed them, I've gone out and bought myself a copy. The most recent example is The Devil in the White City, which is an amazing book that I recommend to anyone who speaks English.

QUOTE(rob fritz @ Aug 14 2012, 10:35 PM) *

(snip) while grocery shopping today I took the time to straighten out the self service meat case because someone was just too lazy to put back the items they did not want, no I was not there for any meat, just didn't like the mess.(snip)

I thought I was the only one who did things like this. Perhaps I worked one too many years in retail while in my 20s.

QUOTE(Provenance @ Aug 14 2012, 10:35 PM) *

By the same logic, loaning printed books has the same impact. Butt I still don't want to close down libraries.

Seconded, but per my first statement here (above), I don't think authors suffer a loss of too many sales.

QUOTE(Greytail @ Aug 15 2012, 12:49 AM) *

I used to collect old books bound in leather. Got too expensive. I love the smell and look of a dusty old tome though.

Makes me feel like watching "the ninth gate" now.

I'm still a sucker for Easton Press books (and Franklin Library books with the silk bookmark, which is the best way to tell if it's real leather or not).

QUOTE(sbmac @ Aug 15 2012, 04:35 AM) *

That old book thing is likely why you like L'Ancienne so much. Me too.

I tried to like L'Ancienne. I really did. But hey, that means more for you guys!
Tibro
Sharing our possessions is a noble, time-honored, social thing to do. It generally leads to the improvement of all around. Limiting that ability can be about nothing but greed. Art is created first and foremost to be shared. That which is created first and foremost with the thought of being bought and sold is a commodity. Necessary, but not necessarily up-lifting for the human experience none of us can escape.

Tibro
Franklin Library. The third expert was a friend.

Great bookstores, especially used-book stores, and the venerable literates who keep them running are a resource and treasure worth preserving. Or so I'm inclined to believe.


QUOTE
The Warning
by Robert Creeley

For love—I would
split open your head and put
a candle in
behind the eyes.

Love is dead in us
if we forget
the virtues of an amulet
and quick surprise.

Kirk
There is a book store in Blacksburg called "Old and Used Books", when I told the owner I liked the name he said he meant no irony.
The last 2 books I bought were " Tapamveni" rock art of the south west and " Hero, Hawk, And Open Hand" American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South. I challenge any app to duplicate the feel and look or ease of access of these beautiful 9"X12" pages.
I also recently purchased "Gem Trails Of New Mexico" by J. Mitchell, "Colorado Rockhounding" by Steven Voynick, and several other field guides that would be difficult to use in digital.
When I was a child I remember tilting the lingerie section of the Sears and Roebuck catalog to see if I could get a glimpse under that slip, digital allows me to look in and through, to all available data.
Jay
That's a brilliant poem, and obliquely appropriate to the sentiment regarding bookstores expressed in this thread - thanks for posting it.
sbmac
Tibro, you know what…you're right. I thought about it a bit, and realized just last night I loaned Big Fish to a friend who lost his father a couple years ago, knowing he would see the poetry in this film. I doubt if the producers and distributors will be hurt by this, and certainly, my friend will benefit. I also loaned him a ukulele,
and I doubt that CF Martin & Co will be letting anyone go over this.

I guess because I see artists getting screwed out of money all the time in the music business, I'm
defaulting to standing by their Herculean efforts to make a living with their art. Most of the writers I know
also fall into this category. Many of my professional songwriter customers used to make royalties, thus paying their bills when an album was purchased, even if their song was lesser-known or not a single. They now get nothing unless the full CD or the song itself is purchased through I-Tunes, or some such place. Many of these once full-time songwriters are now taking second jobs.

Lending is a fine thing to do among friends. It's even a good way of making a friend. I still question however,
an on-line vendor's right to offer the option to loan out a person's creative work, after that same vendor has already taken payment and made a profit.
Artemis
This discussion brings back some memories. I'll share them in the long-winded fashion previously noted by friends and foes alike. Sometimes the foes turned into friends, go figure.

My first experience of anything like a real library was the bookmobile. The bookmobile came around every other Tuesday, only in the summer (because school was out, I guess). It came out of Thibodaux, where the Parish public library was located. It was air conditioned. All the stinking, sweaty children on the place (a sugar cane plantation), whether they could read or not, couldn't wait to get into the bookmobile to bask in the copious supply of cold air for ten or fifteen minutes. It was the only air conditioning around at the time (roughly 1958). It was always 90+ outside, with similar humidity. And the two old ladies who ran the good ship literacy were heavily perfumed, which was nice, albeit probably a defensive measure against the stinking Cajuns who had been waiting in the heat for it to dock at their port of call.

I remember checking out and devouring the beat up cloth-bound Robin Hood, with illustrations by Howard Pyle, and a book illustrating armor, weapons, and coats of arms of the knights of medieval Europe. And Huckleberry Finn, They're down on Huck in the public schools these days - it might offend somebody. I don't remember ever needing assistance from the perfumed ladies (although they did point the way to the door when they were ready to hit the road); I could read at age six and knew what I liked.
Artemis
Flash forward one or three years (JFK was still alive, though, for sure). There was a shelf of books at the back of the elementary school classroom. Children were allowed to take home books from that shelf. There was a book of Chinese ghost stories on there. What a revelation! I barely knew what China was, other than it had something to do with dragons. That these alien people also had to deal with ghosts was a fascinating thing. Of course, the book was cloth-bound, with illustrations, and worn-out rounded corners. And it was suitably heavy in tiny hands. How could I know that in twenty years Uncle Sam would send me to learn Chinese at his expense, in the interest of getting the drop on the heathen Communists?
Artemis
Fast forward a little (but Lee Harvey had still not taken the fatal shot). The elementary school class was frog-marched to the library of the high school, which was located on the same grounds. It would be the first experience of an actual brick and wood library for most of us. Our teacher warned us in advance about the librarian, Mrs. Hillman. Mrs. Hillman was the wife of the football coach. Her hair was made of surplus Korean War aluminum, fastened at the back of her head in a bun, tighter than a bull's asshole in blowfly season. She was, to put it mildly, old school. We were told (not in so many words) that she had a reputation for taking no shit from anybody. We filed past the stench of the chemistry lab, with the human skeleton named Napoleon Bone-a-part, into the sanctum of Frau Hillman. She met us at the door, and explained the rules. In short, she made them, and would not hesitate to put the pointy toe of her high-heeled shoe right dead in the ass of any child who violated them, and she saw no need to explain in advance what said rules might entail. Above all, she valued SILENCE in the library. I believe her epitaph consists of one word: "Shush".
Artemis
Fast forward 35 years to the Seinfeld episode about the NY Public Library. The library cop, Mr. Bookman, is lecturing Kramer and the assistant librarian after he caught them sneaking into the library past closing time:
QUOTE
I remember when the librarian was a much older woman: Kindly, discreet, unattractive. We didn't know anything about her private life. We didn't want to know anything about her private life. She didn't have a private life. While you're thinking about that, think about this: The library closes at five o'clock, no exceptions. This is your final warning. Got that, kewpie-doll?



Artemis
QUOTE
Shit, most of the bigs ones starting selling toys and movies just to pay their rent before they went belly-up.

Public libraries aren't the same, either. Within a two-minute walk from where I sit is a new public library. It was built last year on a property that had, for 30 years or more, a decaying abandoned public school building (rectangular, two-story blockhouse). For the ten years after the building was torn down, all it had was a live oak tree with maybe an owl sleeping in it, and I liked the property just fine that way. I used to walk my dogs there in the shade of the oak. When the new library opened last summer, of course I went over there to check it out. The air conditioning was copious, and the librarian didn't smell at all bad. But there was a play pit inside, intended as divertissement for children (blame it on their ADD) whose parents can't be bothered or don't know how to get them to shut the fuck up for the duration of a 15-minute visit to the library. The shelves were not fully stocked yet, but the pit was full speed ahead already. I checked out Miracles at the Jesus Oak: Histories of the Supernatural in Reformation Europe. It was thoroughly satisfactory. I went back in the dark, after closing, amidst the mosquitoes, to deposit the book in the stainless steel drop box in the wall of the library. When I opened the hatch, I was hit in the face by a startling blast of icy air from within, and the smell of ....... books. And a whisper from the schoolyard ghosts lingering within: "Shushhhhh".
sbmac
Goddamn Artemis. You can write. You made me remember my old neighborhood bookmobile, and my first library at 6. It was a long four block walk from my backyard. This is back when parents let a six year-old kid walk four blocks alone. The first time I walked in, I was greeted by an ocean of covers displayed at MY height, all around the room, facing me, with the most magical artwork. There were Seussian critters, amazing colors, and a smiling, kindly woman who was willing to give a stray kid a card without a parent handing over proof of residency. I was hooked.

We had one like this where I live now. It was "improved" recently. The new library in Huntington looks like the Smithsonian from the outside, and the re-vamped kid's area is sterile; it hides its covers in rows one can't see from the doorway. The walls are white and free of scotch tape residue. Instead, you are greeted by a 20 foot long, center island of kids playing video games on Dell computers, flanked by rows of Sesame Street and Barney DVDs. One needs to look for the books. I was quite happy on one occasion, to find some wise-ass had stashed a copy of Army of Darkness on the rack to my left.
Tibro
An enchanting trip down memory lane indeed. But what such tales will our children and grandchildren have to relate to their succeeding generations?

Do our, the big public our, reading habits and preferences direct the market, or are our choices largely a product of maximizing profits? Wouldn't it be ghastly if the US introduced a little French-style socialism into supporting printed books?
Kirk
Librarians were smart when I was young.
I found a strange stone by the rail road track one day and couldn't wait to look it up at the library, as I strutted in with my major find the librarian offered to help, at a proud 9 years old I was reluctant to involve such a pretty woman with my dusty, deep research but pleased with my discovery I gave her a glance at the fist sized fossil that I was sure would change the world. One glance and "Oh, that's a trilobite", I was stunned with the depth of her knowledge, "have you read every book here? I asked, "Most of them she replied.
sbmac
My octogenarian mother-in-law was a public school librarian for nearly 50 years. To this day, she has a way
of making all her points with stone-crushing effectiveness, in the softest, evenly-paced low-decible tones.
Her husband was also a librarian, also for nearly half a century. It is quite an experience to be in an argument with the daughter of two librarians.
Artemis
I've entertained the idea of becoming a librarian, but I don't have the necessary cert on the wall. I wouldn't doubt that Mrs. Hillman was the most intelligent person in the school. Sometimes she would throw a little Latin at you. I was wary of her, but I didn't hate her like most children did. At that age, it was easy to see nothing but a power trip in her demeanor, but I understand it now as her way of protecting a reverence that she couldn't instill. She was the guardian of a temple.

QUOTE
Yeah, '71. That was my first year on the job. Bad year for libraries. Bad year for America. Hippies burning library cards, Abby Hoffman telling everybody to steal books. I don't judge a man by the length of his hair or the kind of music he listens to. Rock was never my bag. But you put on a pair of shoes when you walk into the New York Public Library, fella.
Mr. Bookman



Artemis
QUOTE
Goddamn Artemis. You can write. You made me remember my old neighborhood bookmobile

Thank you. I was so disgusted by that other mess that I didn't feel much like writing anything even here, but this thread saved me. Your (I mean all of you) posts inspired me, bringing to mind the love for books that endured for most of my life, and the memories came flooding so thick that it surprised me.
Jay
Chinese authors aren't the only ones who can spin a good ghost story. I enjoyed your recollections quite a bit, Artemis, and found myself waxing nostalgic for that which I never experienced. That's a sign of excellent art.

My memory is not quite so keen as yours, but I do recall my first foray into the world of books. I was about five years old and barely able to read, when and our kindergarten class was taken en masse down the hall and into the Sandalwood Elementary School library. I distinctly recall how tall the book racks in the center of the room seemed to me, towering above our heads at heights of up to six feet, I'm sure. It was nearly possible to get lost wending our way through the maze of these racks and the assorted book carrels and shelves outside of them. Small book fairs would come a couple of years later (I remember using my crumpled dollar or two on a book about UFOs and the infamous "men in black" which appeared after sightings, a cheap, thin paperback which is distinctly different from Artemis' account of heavy paperbacks with well-rounded corners).

This was the very early 1980s, and I suppose the quality of products overall was already beginning to decline by then. I was pleased enough with it, though, and more than pleased when I was gifted by a copy of "White Fang" in the fourth grade, and then won the fifth-grade spelling bee and awarded a copy of "The Indian in the Cupboard" by Mrs. L*********, a teacher so reviled that even the parents of the children disliked her. For that one shining moment, she didn't seem so bad.

QUOTE(Tibro @ Aug 16 2012, 05:40 AM) *

Do our, the big public our, reading habits and preferences direct the market, or are our choices largely a product of maximizing profits? Wouldn't it be ghastly if the US introduced a little French-style socialism into supporting printed books?

It seems to me that revenue for many commercial arts (primarily music and tv programming) are driven by the sales to a much younger demographic than before, and it's having a reciprocal effect on people themselves. More than once in the past couple of years, I've heard or seen things in passing about how teen girls get upset with their moms for co-opting their dress style, goofing off on Facebook, and generally acting like… well, teenagers. This cultural shift does seem to be localized largely in America, but perhaps that's my subjective view of it since I don't live abroad.

As for the link, well, I think a little socialism could go along way. After all, even the US has grants for artists themselves, so the basic concept is already in play. It seems even more important in a culture which swings very heavily toward capitalism. Balance is a beautiful thing.

QUOTE(Artemis @ Aug 16 2012, 04:55 PM) *

I was so disgusted by that other mess that I didn't feel much like writing anything even here, but this thread saved me. Your (I mean all of you) posts inspired me, bringing to mind the love for books that endured for most of my life, and the memories came flooding so thick that it surprised me.


I'm formally inviting that "other mess" to fuck off. This thread is far superior.
Provenance
I went into a library at an impressionable age, which is to say age doesn't matter, to do a school paper, may be it was the 7th or 8th grade, on the civil war. I was tremendously fortunate. The library I went into was the Library of Congress and the librarian brought me newspaper from the 1860s. Not microfilm or reproductions, a stack of the actual 100+ year old newspapers were handed to me. It made quite an impression. But then, I was at an impressionable age. And always will be.
Artemis
My first experience of a bookstore was when the first shopping mall near home opened, in 1969. There was a Waldenbooks (bankrupt in 2011) in there. When I went with my parents, they would go off to do whatever they did and they would find me in the bookstore when they were ready to leave. The mall is still there, but there's no bookstore - the Waldenbooks was gone long before 2011. Over the years, around the country, it seemed like there was either a Waldenbooks or a B. Dalton in every shopping mall. Another sign of our sorry time:
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/05/na...nation-20120605
Tibro
Librarians. I think I've had a few run-ins. Probably mostly me just getting run over. Keepers of the temple. Library science. Science? Hmm, all orderly and defined, square corners and dewey decimal. Everything justified. Everything reproduceable anywhere, anytime. Used to be just books and printed matter. Microfiche. Modernity. Media. Time and technology march on.

Are librarians what used to be the name for IT people? Or is IT a more proper name for today's librarians?
Artemis
KRAMER: It's all a bunch of cheapskates in there anyway. People sitting around readingthe newspaper attached to huge wooden sticks Trying to save a quarter, ooh,
JERRY: I gotta go to the library. You want to go?
KRAMER: Yeah!
KRAMER (entering the library): The Dewey Decimal System, what a scam that was. Boy that Dewey guy really cleaned up on that deal.
I liked the old oaken cabinet with the index cards in them. For a while, libraries kept those around even after the index was put on computers. The Dakota County library in Minnesota (nice library, with cushy armchairs and reading lamps in remote corners) was one such, and I continued to use the cards there, even though I knew very well how to search a database, because I was from the old school. The cabinet is being phased out - probably too much trouble to type up those cards. I don't think they have a cabinet at the new library nearby, but they do have the row of PCs with children's video games at the heart and center of the place. I haven't seen the wooden sticks in years. They reminded me of the wooden swords Samurai used to practice fencing.


Tibro
That expert in the Franklin Library ad that I knew, he told me, "Not many things in this world can be perfect. Alphabetization can be perfect." If he could sell a book he wanted to be able to put his hands on it. Quickly and efficiently.
Jack Batemaster
Je ne vais pas lire ça.
Jay
QUOTE(Artemis @ Aug 16 2012, 07:40 PM) *

(snip) KRAMER (entering the library): The Dewey Decimal System, what a scam that was. Boy that Dewey guy really cleaned up on that deal.

My girlfriend inquired of one of my master librarian friends last weekend what the difference was between the Dewey decimal system and the Library of Congress system. She said that the Dewey decimal system was a fixed system with a finite amount of numbers, and was therefore unable to keep up very well with the expanding number of sub-categories over the years. She also mentioned that he was a notorious racist, which his wiki page hints at.

QUOTE

I liked the old oaken cabinet with the index cards in them. For a while, libraries kept those around even after the
I miss those two. The cabinets made everything seem so much more efficient, and they provided something of a scale on which you could gauge just how many books were present. There was a card in that cabinet for every book in that library, and that's all; it had it's purpose, and it served it without superfluous info or distractions such as external hyperlinks to stuff you weren't looking for.
Tibro
My dad, an inveterate reader, was fond of pitching the habit by reminding whoever would listen that, "Anything you would ever want to know is written in a book somewhere."

I was often on the run to the unabridged dictionary that was kept on a stand in the upstairs hallway, always open, near the bedrooms for homework time, when I couldn't keep pace with the conversation at the dinner table.

My dad was very fond well-stocked, well-run, independent bookstores. He found them nearly as interesting as well-stocked, well-run, independent hardware stores. And I never saw him fix anything with his own hands.
Tibro
I have a short list of independent bookstores that I keep in my head that I'd like to visit in person some day. Almost like pilgrimage destinations. Some I don't expect to really be special in their physical incarnation, but for the history and ghosts that must linger, like at City Lights. Others I suspect still engender something in their physical presence, most notably Shakespeare and Company, I suppose. Others, like Peace Eye Bookstore and Cody's Books, are already gone.

I'm still happy to stop in just about any independent bookshop that crosses my path. Particularly the ones with used stock, whether entirely or mixed with new. I like searching the shelves and I like talking with clerks and owners that populate these stores. We don't have to agree to find each other agreeable. I mostly feel that way about forum members here too, when we meet.
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