On the value of bookstores and lobe-finned fishes

In these modern times of ebooks and Amazon.com, the humble independent bookstore has gone the way of the coelacanth: ancient relics of a vanished world, floating beneath the surface of everyday thought; often believed extinct, but hanging in there in certain, far-dispersed habitats. Their glory days might be a thing of the past (I can pretty much hear Suzy’s furrowed brow at these words), but for the ecosystems that depend upon their continued existence, they remain an important mainstay, supporting food chains that might not rival the hustle and bustle of quickly downloaded, quickly discarded contemporary media, but without them, an ocean’s-worth, and even a planetful, of new and previously undreamt creations could never have evolved.

I was privileged to spend my undergrad years working at the Co-op, and to have returned to General Books after a two-year sojourn to Philadelphia. As I contemplate moving on to new oceans, I know I couldn’t have done it without all the skills and knowledge, the friendships and memories, I’ve gained from my time here. As we say in the Devonian epoch, “It’s been real!”




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