Friday, May 12, 2006

Strange Days

A thick white contrail above, splitting the dome of the sky into two hemispheres. Next to it, its negative or shadow, so that the white streak looks cut out of the paleness of blue.

While awful, outrageous things proceed at such a pace in the world that one turns away from the news, disturbing changes are happening at the local level. Just the other day, it was announced that Clear Well-Lighted Place for Books on Van Ness was closing. (It was at this very good bookstore that I met C. Dale when he had a reading of young writers published in NER.) More recently, the owners of Cody's on Telegraph in Berkeley announced that it would close. And Poetry Flash, announced that its illustrious reading series held there--Robert Thomas, Beverly Burch, Zack Rogow, C. Dale Young and many, many well known writers have read there--would end on June 4, 2006. (I loved to stare during the readings at the portraits that ringed the room.)

Okay, times change. Where did you buy the last book you purchased? At an independent store or Amazon?

I've picked up a contract for some tech writing that will keep me busy through June. More details about this later.


Travis J. Morgan said...

I still go to borders of Barnes & Noble to get my books, unless it's something they don't carry. I just like the smell, the immediate access, and the random inspiration that is readily available at my fingertips.

Radish King said...

I don't do business at the chain stores unless I receive gift certificates, then I admit, I use them. The last place I bought a book was Open Books, A Poem Emporium in Seattle. One of only two all poetry bookstores in Seattle.

I have watched independent bookstores fold one by one in Seattle. It's a worrisome time.

Radish King said...

...not only for independent bookstore owners but for mid-list writers.

Diane K. Martin said...

I guess there's nothing to be done but savor the independent bookstores we've got.

And writers too!

Radish King said...

Actually there is something to be done, which is to support the indepent book stores even though they might charge a bit more. That's the most important thing we can do. They are going out of business because the chain stores sell books cheaper, but they also are death for a mid-list writer. Continue to buy at the chain book stores if you want to spend the rest of your life reading Michael Chriton and Sydney Shelton, et al.