Thanks to all who came out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to hear me speak about my book Lake Tahoe: A Fragile Beauty at Rakestraw Books in Danville. One attendee was in the area two hours before the event began and chose to wait next door at Peet’s until the appointed hour! It is gratifying to see this work appreciated and I am flattered that people take such time to support and follow it. If you missed the event, Rakestraw has signed copies of the book on hand.
Special acknowledgment to Michael Barnard at Rakestraw for hosting the event. Making an independent bookstore work is no easy task these days. Mike has a great store and puts together a continuing series of interesting speakers. He is an important member of the Danville community. I encourage everyone to drop by and, if you’re further afield, check out his web site and newsletter.
While I’m on the subject of independent booksellers, an interesting film was aired on KQED’s Truly CA this weekend. Paperback Dreams by filmmaker Alex Beckstead chronicles the history of such notable Bay Area booksellers as Kepler’s and Cody’s, and the difficulties they face in today’s marketplace – despite the important part they play in our communities. While large Internet retailers are able to pass along their savings as virtual retailers, big box stores often sell books as a loss leader. Many smaller booksellers are finding success on the Internet targting special interests or rare and out-of-print books
Yet, the Internet and the big retailers are doing more than changing the way we purchase books. Reading a 400 page book is quite different than trolling for information on the Internet. Information begets knowledge and knowledge begets wisdom. Hopefully we’re not moving in the opposite direction. More on this phenomenon can be found in the July issue of the Atlantic in Is Google Making Us Stoopid?.
When you support your local bookstore you support good local jobs, community, intellectual vigor, and ideas.