Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Progress...

We have been coming to Venice for some part of the winter since 2006.  There have been a lot of changes in the area over that time.  2006 was near the beginning of the big development crash.  Huge water front, luxury condos were being built but then stood empty.  Sprawling developments were laid out in land, but then construction was stalled.  Brand new shopping plazas stood mostly empty, but the new roads to reach them continued to be built.

The lovely downtown of Venice has suffered from a constant turn over of smaller shops but a few mainstays have managed to hang in there and the main street always seems to be busy, at least with window shoppers.

In 2006, there were two small, indie bookstores in down town.  One was gone in 2007 and the other was gone in 2012.  I have nothing in particular against the big chain bookstores and nothing against Amazon at all, but I sure do miss those little shops.  I feel the loss of some sacred spaces.

Here is a Burlington, Vermont, book shop.  I can never, ever resist going inside if I am anywhere near there.

18 comments:

  1. I, too, loved those little bookstores. We used to have so many, but they're all gone. Only B&N remains -- it's eaten all the others!

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  2. All of the Borders and Waldenbooks shops are gone, and only one B&N remains in Hawaii. I get most of my books on my Kindle e-reader via Amazon. The others come to me as gifts from my sister and friends.

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  3. I agree with the charm of small bookstores, it is a shame to see them go. That said, I have to admit that I am one of those rotten so and sos that use the Amazon Kindle. I feel ill-used if I have to read a paper book any more.

    Ahhhh there is nothing like the feel, look, and smell of a real book, especially when it is a 1000 page history book written in 9 point font. The Kindle has spoiled me.

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    1. I have never tried a Kindle. Someday I will get around to giving it a try. Someday I will join the current century. I did try a magazine on my laptop, but did not find it very satisfying.

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  4. Just another comment... I just got an email from a friend who will be spending 21/2 months in Venice, FL!! Talk about coincidence!

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    1. Are you going to visit her here? You can give her my name if she might want someone to show her around.

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  5. I love the sights, sounds, and smells of small bookstores, but I'm guilty as charged - reading only on the Kindle.

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  6. Small book stores still call out to me and draw me in to browse even though I do almost all my reading on Kindle these days.

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  7. I so enjoy small town, small book stores. Alas, they are disappearing.
    I love hold a hard cover book. well, actually, prefer reading one in bed!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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  8. I can't imagine taking a Kindle to bed with me but if I had one I bet I would like the ability to make the font large print for my eyes. We only have 2 big chain bookstores here, no small ones, but i have always wanted to browse in a little bookstore like the one in "You've Got Mail." Actually I would love to own a little bookstore like that but it will never happen. When my son moved to Seattle this year he was overjoyed to find a little bookstore that only sells poetry.

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    1. I would think I had landed in heaven in a bookstore dedicated to poetry!

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  9. Not just bookstores, but library habits are changing with technology. I used to love going to the library and looking through the shelves. We almost never go anymore. We borrow books online for our Kindle and Fire now and there's no longer a need to go to the library. I don't think there are any big or small bookstores in Hawaii anymore.

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    1. One of my library volunteer jobs for my hometown library is sorting through book donations for the big fund raiser sail. I always wonder just how long that will continue to be a viable fund raiser. It has also made me see books as dust-collecting and often moldy objects rather than something sacred or sublime!

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  10. I love books and bookstores! But I have also come to love my Kindle. There is nothing worse than being stranded at an airport or somewhere and you get to the last page f your book! Kindle solves that! I think I will continue with both. Same with cookbooks. Love online but love hard bound, too!

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  11. Ron was based out of San Diego most of his Navy career. He knew every second hand bookstore around. He sent me poetry books often after we met. He took me to those stores when we were together in San Diego. The sights and smells and offerings of unexpected titles were joyous moments. My shelves are filled and someday soon I might take them down again and read them. I have a Kindle but it cannot recreate what a genuine book can offer.

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  12. I love the indie bookstores. When our local Barnes & Noble opened, I complained because one of the smaller indies closed down. It's been a long time since then. Now I do most of my shopping on Amazon to avoid driving and parking.

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  13. I too lament the demise of bookstores, and yet we buy our ebooks from Amazon.

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  14. We have a great independent bookstore in Pasadena. all tThe big chains have come and gone. But our Vromans still stands.

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I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.