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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Books, People, Love

(This is an old picture, for reasons that will be apparent down the page a way.)

The title of Pierre Bayard’s book, THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT READING, annoyed me so much I decided not to so much as glance at the book. (Some infinitives beg to be split.) It is a sad commentary on French style that it deteriorated in one generation from clarity and distinctness (Bergson adhering to the standards of Descartes) to intentional mystification (evident in Sartre and continuing to the present). All of the first “reviews” I saw, too, were written by writers who had, too cutely, chosen not to read the book but wanted to blather on about it, too cutely. Don’t waste my time: that was my response. But tonight, catching up on the “Economist” magazine (a weekly, like the “New Yorker,” it comes at me faster than I can keep up with it), I found a review worth reading, written by someone who actually read the book, summarizes its content, and gives her own thoughtful, pithy conclusion. So skip the book, but take a look at the review if you’re interested.

Now, I was hoping—no, I had carefully planned—to have pictures of Saturday evening’s open house to post the following Sunday. Alas, for the plans of mice and booksellers! Sometime between the hour of Saturday morning’s store opening and the moment when all the food was on the table and everything ready for the arriving guests (a moment I wanted to capture for posterity), my camera seems to have walked away. No, this could not have happened! I took everything out of my carry-all-from-home bag half a dozen times, even though its weight told me the camera was not there. On Monday the shelves under the counter were thoroughly swept, and the camera did not turn up. When I last saw it, the camera was sitting on the counter inside my tan tam, which also walked away. Bottom line: no pictures of all the people enjoying themselves at the bookstore!

From a relativistic perspective, the good news is that the camera disappeared well before the open house, so that no suspicion casts a shadow over my party memories.

Moving from relativism to more solid ground, I remind myself that the real good news from Saturday is the number of friends, customers and well-wishers who turned out to celebrate with us on the evening of the worst weather of the year. (I wish I had a movie of our horrendous, miraculous drive home that night!) Some people shopped, more did not, but I’m sure many will return for holiday gift shopping, and it was a wonderful party! People do love Dog Ears Books. They are happy to have it in Northport and want it to stay. And in the end, it is the people who love us who matter, not uncaring strangers.

Wish you all could have been with us!

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