Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Can't 'DASH' Go Through What Bookhampton Is Going Through?

Oh, this damn illiterate country. There's something just gut-cringing and teeth-gnashing about witnessing first-hand as people who either haven't earned, or don't deserve financial success celebrating their windfall, while earnest people have to beg in the streets.

And that's just what booksellers across America are doing. Recently the New York Times published an article on the absolute endangered species that bookstores in Manhattan have become, as each one falls victim to the $40,000 per month rent vs. two people bought something this week paradigm. In Manhattan, bookstores are down by 60%.

We initially rejoiced when Borders went belly-up, thinking that this would reopen the market to independent, mom-and-pops stores. No. People just don't read anymore. That's an overstatement, but you get the point. You know there is a cultural brain drain when it comes to the written word when Snooki's novel outsells Cormac McCarthy and Toni Morrison. It seems "You've Got Mail" only got it half-right. Perhaps the chain stores were our enemy in the late 90s, but a greater enemy seems to be our complete antipathy toward the written word unless it has been ghost written for movie stars and reality TV bimbos.

Which is why we are not surprised, but greatly saddened to receive this plea from the owner of Bookhampton, Charline Spektor:

Dear Friends and Neighbors and BookLovers: 

The most wonderful part of owning BookHampton has been the discovery of 
new books and the camaraderie of fellow readers. The saddest part is the 
awareness that all things, even those we cherish most, have days that are 

The frozen Winter and this very chilly Spring caught BookHampton in a 
grip that has brought us to our knees. We’re fighting to have one more 
Summer, and not to be bowed by the writing on the wall that forced our 
colleagues to close their doors. In NYC alone: Coliseum Books, Gotham, 
Endicott, Shakespeare & Co., Murder Ink, the lovely Madison Avenue 
Bookshop, the incomparable Books & Co., BN Lincoln Center and now 
Rizzoli – all gone. 

A good friend asked if there’s anything that we can do to hold on to 
BookHampton. As I tried to find one more answer, the brilliant metaphor of 
the great writer Anne LaMott came to mind. “My brother,” she wrote in 
Bird by Bird, “was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three 
months to write. It was due the next day… he was at the kitchen table close 
to tears… immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father 
sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 
'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" 

So here then is my answer and a heartfelt request: Could you please help us 
take on the enormous challenge of saving BookHampton book by book. If 
every one of our friends, neighbors, and booklovers would be so kind as to 
buy one book today, it would make a true and immediate difference: 

Please take a moment to order just one book right now from BookHampton 
Any book at all. 

Tell us the book you’re looking for or let us make a great recommendation. 
We’ll hold it in store or ship it anywhere! 
Or call us : (631) 324-4939 or (631) 488-5953. 

BookHampton is the literary cornerstone of our community; 
the beach, the farms, and this bookstore enrich all our lives 
and nourish our souls. 

Thank you, in advance, for taking the time today to save BookHampton 
book by book. 

 and Chris, Billy, Kim, Taylor, Mary, Sarah, Greg, Kate, Ken 

But, you know. Go ahead and shop at DASH. The Kardashians could use the money.

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