One of my least favorite parts of reading a ton of book blogs are the inevitable maudlin goodbyes to bookstores that are closing. They're hard to write well—even the best writers almost always overstate the importance of the bookshop. That's why I was so pleased to find that U District bookseller Brad Craft wrote this long, heartfelt love letter to the University District Twice Sold Tales, which is closing in March:
Just today, John announced that he will be closing his shop, and taking his online business off with him to Mercer Island, or some such god-forsaken place. (Do they even have pho there?) I understand. His landlord would rather have a redundant multinational bank where the bookstore has been. I can't tell you just how sad it will be, come the day, walking up the Ave. to my favorite gyro stand, to not be able to look through that front window at the bookstore, cluttered with old books, a bust of Shakespeare, and a model dinosaur or two, to not see John's gnomish smile, reading at his desk, or typing at his computer, a cat on his shoulders, and possibly another in his lap.
The neighborhood can not afford another such loss. I can't.
Places change, cities specially, or they die. Nothing so tiresome as listening to life-time-residents lament the loss of the typewriter-repair, or the place their grandmother took them shopping for a confirmation-dress. Life moves on. I acknowledge my partisanship, but really, to have just the one other good bookstore on the Ave.? Right there, cheek by jowl with the university? And the grand old Neptune movie theater already shuttered, just a week ago? Is this civilization? I ask you.
It's a lovely look at a changing neighborhood. You should go read the whole thing: