Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Scary Rumor for Bibliophiles

As a student of the Civil War, there is no more important resource to aid my learning than the printed word. The stories, diaries, reports, and accounts of the war are all carefully archived in the pages of many thousands of books published since the end of the war.
As a book collector, there is nothing more wonderful than browsing through a comprehensive and well-maintained bookstore, usually one that stocks used books. This sort of establishment, over the course of several hours of fun, will usually satisfy both needs quite brilliantly.
Unfortunately, this type of bookstore is slowly dying away due to multiple factors that, for the sake of brevity, I won't dissect out here. I was prompted to write this post after hearing a very concerning rumor that Green Apple Books in San Francisco, which is voted the best Bay Area bookstore every year and has been around since 1967, is closing its doors.
After a rigorous google search, I am thankfully unable to confirm this rumor, but did discover that Cody's Books in Berkeley, also a staple in the Bay Area for many decades, is shutting down.
This is a very bad thing, and is at the sharp end of a nasty trend. These stores are incredibly unique, interesting, and inexpensive ways to acquire books and knowledge, aside from being performance venues, artisan coffee shops, and always very cool. But once they're gone, they stay gone, and the community is worse off.
How to prevent this? Simple, when buying books, take a few moments to seek out the independent new and/or used bookstore in your neighborhood. None available? Try Powell's Books in Portland, which is the largest independent bookstore in the country. They've got everything and will ship anywhere.
Still no luck? Like so many of us, you're probably typing into your browser. No sweat, nearly every book there is available either new or used, just check the seller when you buy and don't buy straight from the factory.
These businesses are a treasured part of our communities and need our support. Every little bit counts, so put them to good use. Links are below, and I've installed a new sidebar with the same links for easy reference

In San Diego:
Adams Avenue Bookstore

Green Apple Books
Powell's Books

The Last Record Store

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