Friday, March 6, 2009
Last Bookstore Standing
As you probably know, one of San Francisco's best bookstores will be closing its doors for good in the next week (see article from Thursday's Chronicle here). Stacey's was always the store I went to when I wanted to see what other bookstores were doing that we could copy, or hunt for titles that we might have missed.
A few of my friends outside of the book business have mentioned that a bookstore like Stacey's closing is a good thing for Green Apple. One less competitor to worry about. But books aren't like that. To paraphrase John Donne, every bookstore's death diminishes me. No one has to buy a book, especially not from a brick&mortar bookstore. If I were a greedy capitalist, I might choose to be the last grocery store in San Francisco, or the last gas station. But being the last bookstore standing is the last thing we at Green Apple want. A city filled with interesting bookstores is a city where people are reading.
Books thrive on a culture of reading. People have to hear about books, talk about books, feel like they're missing out on something if they haven't read (fill in the blank). That's why the loss of so many newspaper book reviews is a bad thing, because it diminishes the culture of reading.
So here's to you, Stacey's. You'll be missed.