I had a chance to go out to Chicago for the booksellers convention recently and thank a lot of booksellers. Where would I be without them? But I wanted to say more than just that every author says that and so I did a little research before my talk. I discovered that, sure, we all know about bookish New York prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey, who nearly became president … and Dudley R. Dewey, whose Dewey Decimal System libraries all use. But how many of us remember their ancestor David Bowie Dewey, who recognized that the real money in libraries wasn’t in selling memberships or library cards but in all the fines for overdue books … and who hit on the idea of charging those fines up front and not requiring the books to be returned at all?
And thus was born the modern bookstore the brains and soul of the retail world.
Think about it, I told my audience: every other store is devoted to your food, clothing, or shelter. Necessities. But what other store caters to your mind? To your soul?*
All hail the modern bookstore.
*Yeah, yeah Blockbuster and Tower Records. I know. But I was addressing booksellers.
Quote of the Day
Panics do not destroy capital; they merely reveal the extent to which it has been previously destroyed by its betrayal into hopelessly unproductive works.~John Stuart Mill, 1867 (Like shopping centers in the middle of the desert. Or millions of pages of legal documents.)
Request email delivery
- Sep 22:
The Jimmy Kimmel Test (And More)
- Sep 21:
- Sep 20:
The Easy, Cheap Way Is The Best Way
- Sep 19:
Statues Again: Benedict Arnold, Anyone?
- Sep 17:
“It’s War” — And We’re Losing
- Sep 15:
No, Chuck Todd Is Not A Corporate Shill
- Sep 14:
Tom Brady’s Brain
- Sep 13:
The 5 Jobs Robots Will Take First — And Last
- Sep 12:
He Was Just 17
- Sep 11:
Troll Farms and Gay Muslims
- Sep 22: