Bookish Poem du Jour

The Bookstall
by Linda Pastan

Just looking at them
I grow greedy, as if they were
freshly baked loaves
waiting on their shelves
to be broken open—that one
and that—and I make my choice
in a mood of exalted luck,
browsing among them
like a cow in sweetest pasture.

For life is continuous
as long as they wait
to be read—these inked paths
opening into the future, page
after page, every book
its own receding horizon.
And I hold them, one in each hand,
a curious ballast weighting me
here to the earth.

Found at fellow booklover Sarah Gordon’s Facebook page

“The Bookish Life”

Book on a blanket

Avid readers will enjoy Joseph Epsteins’s reflections on the joys and habits of a reading life that appeared in the November 2018 issue of the  journal First Things. written by the excellent essayist Joseph Epstein, and posted to the online version of the journal First Things.

Cited May 16, 2020 in Patrick Kurp’s blog Anecdotal Evidence

Carrolton, Georgia’s Underground Books

Carollton's Underground Books

I’ve lived in Georgia all my life and somehow I’d never heard of this apparently very large bookstore not too far west of Atlanta. If any readers out there have been to this store, please leave a comment about what you thought of your experience.

The store may not look very appealing from the outside – it’s located underground – butthe interior photos in this Facebook post about the store are quite intriguing.

The store is, of course, temporarily closed due to the COVID-29 pandemic, but you can (a) plan a post-lockdown visit and (b) order books from the bookstore’s website.

Found at Only in Georgia’s Facebook page

“The Credibility Bookcase” is Apparently a Thing These Days

Bookcase backdrop

When the Covid-19 pandemic pushed so many people into working from home, the number of interviews and presentations filmed in people’s homes – via the cameras connected to their home computers or cell phones – grew astronomically.

Suddenly, it became important for interviewees (experts, reporters, politicians, etc.) to consider the effect the background for their interviews might have on their credibility. Bookcases – rather than, say, a blank wall – have become de rigeur for most talking heads these days.

Bookshelves have always figured as status-markers for some people; in the Internet Age, they also function, for some viewers anyway, as credibility-enhancers – or credibility-deflators.

Amanda Hess at the New York Times posted yesterday her story reviewing the various permutations of this Zoom-era phenomenon. Read Hess’s fascinating (and link-filled) analysis here.

Thanks to librarian colleague) Karen Skellie for alerting me to this article

An Alternative to Amazon

Bookshop is a relatively new player in the Internet-based bookselling landscape, and InsideHook has posted an article describing how it works.

For those of us booklovers who’d like to help grow the competition to Amazon’s dominance of the online bookselling business, Bookshop might be what we’ve all been hoping for.

One disturbing fact that I didn’t know before reading this article: GoodReads is owned by Amazon. Ouch!

Found via Michael Gilcrest’s Facebook page

June 14, 2020 Postscript: A New York Times article reports that 750+ bookstores have joined Bookshop’s online platform and that Bookshop has already exceeded its 2022 sales objectives, partially due to the COVID-19 shutdown of retail bookstores.

Against Scribbling in and/or Highlighting Passages in Books

marginal scribblings

At his excellent blog, “Damian” recently posted a screed against the practice of many readers for annotating their books with highlighters or marginal scribblings. A former offender himself, “Damian” illustrates his current, alternative method of “annotating” his books.

Read “Damian’s” brief, amusing, and persuasive essay here.

Found at the blog “A Sunday of Liberty