Friday, July 18, 2014

Post 2717 - United Bookstores

Well, that was a fun day at work.

The weekend is here, and I am glad about it. The carpenters arrive here by 8 tomorrow morning. We are all hoping that the job will be done by the end of the work day. They just have to put up the railings and slats up on the back deck, plus a few other chores that should not take very long.

Last week I only purchased one gravity chair. Patricia has largely appropriated its use, so I guess I should have bought two of them. Maybe I should hide mine from her.

I went downtown for a short period of time late this morning. I wanted to go into United Bookstores on Barrington Street one last time. Today was their last day, after some 30 years at that spot, and several more years around the corner, but I am not sure just where.

I bought an awful lot of books from that store over the years. Dave, who ran the place, was always kind to me and had a near encyclopaedic knowledge of books in general. One time I had forgotten the name of an author. I told him that it was the guy who wrote books about the Native woman who helps people disappear. Excellent series, by the way. Without even hesitating he replied, "Thomas Perry. The Jane Whitefield series." I left the store with a couple of Perry's Whitefield books.  He got a sale, and I got some good books.

JW Doull's, across the street for years, and on Granville  Street for a long time before that, was never really my cup of tea. The books were strewn all over the place and reminded me of a hoarder's nightmare. I could never find anything and always walked gingerly in case some precariously-piled column of books would crash on me. But United Bookstore on Barrington was a friendly place to shop. Clean and neat and welcoming.  And it had a devoted "horror" section.

The store went out of business for a few reasons. The decline of Halifax's downtown is deeply regrettable. The construction taking place in that area will mean that in 2 -4 years things should be better, but that will not help the businesses that are struggling now. And it won't help the businesses that  are inconvenienced into oblivion because of the construction.

And, too, there is a the general downward trend in paper-based book sales. I don't buy that many books any more. I have enough books to last me for the rest of my life, assuming I live to a ripe old age. And if I want to, I can fire up my kindle and shop in the Amazon online bookstore. To a very great extent, I don't need bricks and mortar book stores any more. You probably don't, either.

(Yes, there are lots of  books that are out of print and will remain that way. As I have pointed out before, the book about the Goler clan will almost certainly never be reprinted, for the reasons I have already delineated.)

Dave told me he will be spending some time in Ontario before returning to Halifax to pursue other opportunities. I hope that our paths cross again. He is one of the good ones, and I wish him all the best.

He is a survivor. Heck,  not even Jane Whitefield can make Dave disappear.

Tell me where you buy your books these days, if you buy them at all.

See you tomorrow.


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