Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Boston, Writing, Art.

Why was I so impressed with the Barbara's bookstore in Ohare's K&H wings? I think I had grown used to finding bookstores and seeing the top 10 or so fiction and non-fiction bestsellers with a handful of other curated top books from various listicles. Most of these books yell out about how they've made X-list or won Y-awars or even that some star recommends them. Now, I know that this goes towards helping any book sell more units and it certainly speaks to its social acceptance. But I've found it nothing short of annoying and have found myself unable to buy the books. 

Yet, when I walked into this small bookstore in the airport, it smelling like coffee and traveling dreams—I was impressed when I saw Master and Margarita, poetry books, and 2666, amongst many other at least somewhat interesting books. 

Now, this story isn't about my idiosyncrasies as a reader, or writer, but rather about the business of bookselling and especially bookselling from an airport and the sliver of that group that overlaps with my tastes. 

Of course, I have to wonder about the business end of things; how many of one book (a classic, the ones I mentioned above) compared to another, to say nothing of the presence of such books amidst the bestsellers of the day. A familiar book will sell more than one that isn't familiar, I assume (and that's the reason why the big names have to give a blurb for the smaller books). Same goes for the tie-ins to other mediums like film or TV. [1]

This makes me wonder if my own reaction is an anomaly and if the average person walks up, sees 2666,  is puzzled and decides to walk away. What I'm worried about, is that this process over time will weed out all the stores that I like and create ones where I can rarely find a book I like. 

I won't get into the myriad of bookstores I wish to see and instead I'll dwell upon the sad fact that my tastes may no longer be catered to in any physical sense. As I grow older and further away from the zeitgeist and the coveted 18-34 age group, this will only grow worse, I assume. So for now, let me recommend this bookstore to you. 

[1] something I actually find annoying, seeing the film or TV show on the cover of a book, seems odd to me, but it seems to work. 

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