Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, March 26, 2012

Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores vs. Buying Online: We're All Guilty One Way or Another

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

William Gibson loves bookstores, we should too! - MIKE MCCAFFREY
  • Mike McCaffrey
  • William Gibson loves bookstores, we should too!

When you look over your history of buying books, how do you feel? You should feel like hell. If you've bought even one book from an online seller, well, you blew it -- A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books might still be open if it weren't for that book.

We're not kidding.

Everybody is guilty. Everybody sucks. Is it going to take every last bookstore in the city closing before people change their behavior? Yes, it will. And yet ...

How many times have you gone to a brick-and-mortar neighborhood treasure and quietly seethed over not receiving 30 to 40 percent off a new hardcover? And how many times have you made a special trip for a book that's out of stock? Relish in your guilt at Booksmith's special celebration and community dialogue tonight (Monday).

We recently went to a store and found only one David Mitchell book. Personally, we believe bookstores should have at least five copies of every David Mitchell book -- 25 David Mitchell books, always, at every store. We believe the same about dozens of different authors.

We should never own a bookstore, obviously. Perhaps we could handle an online bookstore. The whole thing breaks our heart. How do you make sense of it all, as a responsible yet realistic book-buyer? You attend a special Booksmith celebration and community dialogue, in which the owners break down their business, debate the tricky future, and celebrate five years as the new proprietors. And before you leave, you buy a book. I'd start with Cloud Atlas.

The celebration and community dialogue starts at 7 p.m. tonight (Monday, March 26) at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Belvedere), S.F. Admission is free.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Michael Leaverton

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"