Call it my profession of faith that anyone reading these Posts already likes to read books, and therefore I will not sing their praises but sing only of independent bookstores and specifically one, Wellington Square in Eagle, whose safekeeping I wish to encourage by almost any means necessary but first by telling the truth. The shelves are twice my height, and tables with covers and titles upturned and easily at hand, and everywhere, everywhere something surprises me — new histories, new novels, titles I have never seen reviewed, more to add to my piles by my bed, on my desk, and all arranged here in singletons ready to open. There is more than I can read in 100 lifetimes, and thus Wellington offers an appearance of a gratified immortality, that rarest of our bookish illusions.
Because Wellington sells books, it carries wares that will never exhaust your curiosity, will never breed cynicism, will summon your quiet pleasure, will change you from the inside out, book by book, visit by visit. This is the anti-Walmart, the anti-Target, the one of a kind, swimming-hard-to-make-a-go-of-it-place. I walk through the door and am immediately a happier man. Take your leap of faith and come visit and you too will lighten as if released from your blues.
Buy books at Wellington, where smiling, bright staff will treat you as if you have a soul. Tell Amazon to stuff itself, to shove its sorting algorithms and its vision of you as a commodified unit, a thing to be processed and stacked like bins. Amazon — where they sell books as if you were an automaton, chipped and fixed, rather then a quirky, searching creature, a thinking creature hoping to be surprised. Come to Wellington where they respect quirks, where they have read the writers who might change your life, where your face and voice are all the algorithms they need. Buy books for the people you love and buck up their spirits. Ignore the urge to buy the latest electronic widget, what-it, want-it gadget that will be obsolete in month. Come to Wellington.
Listen, you know a secret, you, a book lover know that books are perfect objects and that they are mortal — they yellow, shred and crumble, but here books flow like a river that makes itself new each flood. You know too that good bookstores should be immortal, and that there should always be places like this that house a perfect light and the voices of children and gasps of happiness at discoveries. If nothing else will convince you, come and sit at the small bar and drink good coffee and eat lavender cookies while you page through the stacks you have set yourself to sort as a human being who owns a discerning eye and a malleable heart, a person who loves these perfect objects you turn over in your hands as if they were alive. Come to Wellington where they also believe in that life.