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Saving Bookstores: we need to put our money where our moany old mouths are…

Nigel Beale's Bookstore Photos

Books on Beechwood in Ottawa, saved recently by angel investors

“Across Canada now”, Leah McLaren tells us in this sparkling piece in today’s Globe and Mail, “as well as in the United States and Britain, the old-fashioned main street with its butcher, baker and candlestick maker is mostly a thing of the past. Soon, the cynics say, there will be nothing but Tim Hortons and cheap nail salons, and that’s only because you can’t get a double-double or a pedicure on the Internet (yet). In the near future, the story goes, our main streets will be nothing but online shopping pick-up points and badly lit sizing depots – miserable places filled with grey consumer zombies itching to get back to home to their iPads so they can buy some more crap they don’t need.”

” The decline of the independent bookstore”, Leah continues ” is an old story, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Maybe the solution is to stop viewing such places simply as businesses that must succeed or fail according to the market, like doughnut shops or nail salons. A really good bookstore is not a doughnut shop; it is a social good. As citizens – and even potential investors – we need to put our money where our moany old mouths are.”

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