May 8, 2016

Sunday Focus: Reading & Writing.

     A longtime independent bookstore in Montgomery closed this year. 
     Capitol News and Books was located across from Huntingdon College.
     Call it a victim of the big box retailers or the online book sellers, but selling books in a retail environment isn't what it used to be. (If it really was ever anything other than a labor of love.)
     NPR interviewed the retiring co-founder of Barnes and Noble Saturday morning:
"We were the first retail in America to have a super store of any kind. The first retail in America to have public restrooms. The first major retailer to open Sundays."
     Leonard Riggio talked about electronic books vs the paper and ink kind, and about Amazon, which made book buying an one click affair.
     They did not talk about a recent court decision in favor of Google's project to scan and place online for free the content of tens of millions of books...although there's no cutting and pasting or even printing allowed.

   I worked in a tiny New York City bookstore back in the day. The amount of money that flowed in was so small there wasn't even a cash register, just a small cash box to make change. 
     One day a would-be robber came in and held his hand in his jacket pocket to indicate he was armed, ordering me to give him the money. I picked up the little cash box and ran out the door next to me and onto the sunlit street. I still don't know if he really had a gun. He was arrested a few hours later trying to rob an ice cream shop. 
     I didn't give him the money because I was angry that someone would try to take the store's truly meager income.
     I read a lot of information online...all day in fact. But I still need ink on paper to truly enjoy a well written novel.


ALSO: A seven year old girl in Virginia won a penmanship contest with this entry, in a competition for children with disabilities.

  Nice handwriting, no? 
  Especially when you consider little Anaya Ellick has none. Hands that is. HERE's her story.

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