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Friday, December 2, 2011

The Case for Bookstores, Part 1

Christmas Cookies for Doug

Is Doug streaming Dr. Who or researching genealogy? You decide. may have a bigger selection, but your local bookstore can deliver a more fully immersive literary acquirement experience. Especially The Book Rack, because its precarious stacks of books could very well entomb the customer, given the proper nudge.

The following shall be a mini-history of The Book Rack from my viewpoint, IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGY, as well as an argument for the awesomeness of the non-corporate bookstore experience. But first you must grok the spirit of Doug, the owner and sole operator of this store. Yes, years ago, his mom helped out occasionally, but you can tell by the state of the store that a woman's hand no longer enters the equation. In fact, the last time an outsider had any influence on The Book Rack was when a fire marshal ordered Doug to move some books and clear some aisles, or he'd be shut down the following week. Compliance happened, but The Book Rack is a high-entropy vortex to say the least, and the books always rise again.

Now, let us take a trip in a book-powered Wayback Machine.

Last weekend, while gearing up for a Book Rack run, I laughed out loud at a new idea. Naturally, my wife wanted to know why I laughed, because that's how we get each other's attention. I said, "It would be sweet if I could create a secret Facebook campaign, powered mainly by pictures of Doug looking cold and downtrodden in his messy store, where the outcome would be that Doug gets inundated with Christmas cookies." My wife has been there just enough to know what would make the idea even better: "If you could get a picture of him wearing his old yarn shawl, that would be best." It was the perfect image: in the winter, Doug settles in at his computer and often hunkers under a brown, knitted shawl for warmth. Yes, people might respond to that with Christmas cookies! I took my iPhone with me. Unfortunately, the shawl was not in play, but almost as good, the gray sweater with moth-holes, as seen above. Also, the random bags, the window unit insulated with big bag, the trash-bag as shield for roof leaks, and the general lack of glory.

NEXT: Meet the nutbags!

1 comment:

Marcus Howell said...

The tag for this one needs to be a panoramic illustration