[lit-ideas] Re: War, no sort of about it

Barbara's Bookstore is still alive and well---at least the one in Oak Park, just west of Chicago. There is a Border's Bookstore in the same block, and at first people were worried that this would kill Barbara's. But the manager of Barbara's says that the competition seems to have not affected sales; maybe people now go to that part of the world because theere are TWO good options, not just one.

But none of these stores can match my old friend the Florida Bookstore in Gainesville, Florida. I went there in 1964-66, and my dorm room was 302 paces from the bookstore. Their first floor was a typical college bookstore, with all the required texts and supplies. But from the mezzanine up to the second floor, they had almost all the books from almost all the paperback publishers, all arranged not by topic but by publisher. All the "DELL" books together; all the "NEW DIRECTIONS" books next to each other by publisher's stock number. All the "SIGNET" paperbacks, some with the original 1050's covers. Every Friday afternoon I used to go through the place a section at a time, trying to become a bit familiar with some very strange shelf-fellows. The DOVER section was my favorite; they had all these old repirints next to scientific works that I could just begin to understand. I think I got more an education there than I would have gotten with an extra two years in college.


Ursula Stange wrote:

I remember Barbara's!! Back in 1966 or so she used to be down at the end of Piper's Alley in Old Town. Nice memories. Thanks for the nudge. Our little university here in North Bay also has an almost completely utilitarian bookstore. Not even any bestsellers... Maybe a few cards and pens and Nipissing memorabilia.



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"Never attribute to malice that which can be
explained by incompetence and ignorance." ----------------------------------------------
John Wager johnwager@xxxxxxxxxxx
Forest Park, IL USA


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