Monday, May 17, 2010


Sadly, I learned this week that Rodney's Bookstore of Central Square will be closing its doors for good following a massive liquidation sale. A number of years ago I used to live in Cambridgeport and would frequently spend an afternoon hoofing it to the various Cambridge used bookstores. There was House of Sarah in Inman. There was Hopewell's up on Mass Ave. There was that store in the Porter Square (below Bob Slate). And there was Rodney's. Now all of those have vanished. How could this have happened?

Now, I won't bore you with cliches or mantras or statistics. I won't regale you with poo-poo chain store stories. I'm certainly not dapper enough to forbid you from shopping at one of 'em. Instead, let me casually suggest that you to buy A BOOK locally. If you're thinking of buying five books this week, make one of those books from a local bookseller. There. That was pretty casual, right? Good.

Yep. That's right. I'm taking the initiative and declaring this week "Locally Buy A Book Locally To Keep Your Locally Owned Locale Open For Locals To Shop Locally Week!" Or "LBABLTKYLOLOFLTSL-week!"(That's going to look pretty [expletive] sweet on a t-shirt.)

That's right. Let's do this, my fellow townfolk. If you live in Central Square, ride your recumbent bike to Lorem Ipsum or Raven Books. If you live in JP, go to Jamaica Way Books before you buy your organic sprouts at City Feed. If you live in Middleton, stop on over to Booksmyth (it exists, I have proof). If you live in Salem, buy a book at Cornerstone Books or Derby Square right before you get that hex lifted by a freelance gypsy. Every town has a bookstore. Gloucester. Danvers. Plymouth. Newburyport. Brookline. Somerville. Northampton. West Roxbury. Beverly. Etc... They are out there. They need you. They want you.

I know, you're saying "Well, its not like my $14 is going to make or break a store." And yeah, if you want to talk semantics you'd be correct. But if 50 people in East Buttsville spend $14 at the quaint indie bookstore in downtown East Buttsville then the game gets sent into overtime. Independent bookstores win the coin toss, and elect to receive. And together the people of East Buttsville split the uprights and chalk up another win for the community.


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