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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Diary of a Country Bookseller - Get Some Perspective! (08/06/09)
Smaller problems seem to get bigger as I grow old. And the reverse is also true: big things hardly bother me at all. The money I've squirreled away over the years, for example, has shrunken like a New Guinea tribal head. Oh well. C'est la vie. I've never missed a meal and the kids have to buy their own shoes now, so everything is going to be alright (Really)...
Diary of a Country Bookseller (01/20/09)
I've been getting calls and e-mails from friends lately that are full of bad news. An old pal who owns a real estate company in Seattle hasn't sold a house in three months, and three houses he bought on spec are a month away from foreclosure. This ordinarily happy man writes that he is at the end of his rope. "Nothing short of a miracle is going to help," he says...
Diary of a Country Bookseller (01/08/09)
Politics is often the way we morally and culturally define ourselves. And what we say out loud about our politics is often how others define us as well. "So and so is a 2nd Amendment Freak," you might say, and members of both the Right Tribe and the Left Tribe believe they instinctively know whether or not the "freak" in question is a friend or foe -- and everything else about his moral and cultural condition...
Diary of a Country Bookseller (08/27/08)
Bill Terry, a former UPI reporter in San Francisco and past editor of Arkansas Times Magazine, now living in Golden, Mo., has done the most surprising thing: he has written something of a bodice ripper titled Scions, a generational novel about two families at war with each other and their own dark, internal impulses...
Country Bookseller (07/30/08)
The Good Doctor, Hunter S. Thompson, wrote a book in, oh, I guess it was the 70s, with the wonderful title, A Generation of Swine. The book was the usual dope-addled drivel that Thompson was famous for, but it nicely captured the essentially narcissistic and glutinous character of the Boomer Generation, that demographic bulge born slightly after World War II and currently lining up for their turn at the Public Trough...
DIARY OF A COUNTRY BOOKSELLER (05/07/08)
I wish I had a dime for every time a person walks into the bookstore, smiles sadly, and says, "You are living out my dream. It must be so great to own a bookstore!"   It is great to own a bookstore. Obscurity and poverty notwithstanding, booksellers are frontline defenders of the First Amendment, and they get to take the cultural and intellectual pulse of the towns and cities where they live -- every day. ...
DIARY OF A COUNTRY BOOKSELLER (02/13/08)
I have no argument with suicides. I know that life is not for everyone. At a very specific point along what becomes an interrupted line suicides decide that all bets are off. They decide they no longer have a dog in the fight. How they make that decision is not much of a mystery. We know that the killer is exhaustion and the weapon is contempt. As Ivan said to God in The Brothers Karamazov, "If you exist, I respectfully return my ticket."...
Diary of a Country Bookseller (01/09/08)
By Christopher Hitchens Reviewed by Dan Krotz Christopher Hitchens has written a book titled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. It is a splendid book, witty, outrageous, funny, and occasionally erudite. It is about the fallacy and delusion of theism and it sets out to prove, in the words of Robert Pirsig that, "if one man believes something that is not real, we call it insanity. If many people believe something that is not real we call it religion."...
DIARY OF A COUNTRY BOOKSELLER (12/19/07)
I have been traveling around in the company of the number-one pop star in Laos. Her name is Phonekaseumsouk Sengsourigna and her face is on many billboards, on television in commercials and in magazine advertisements.   She is beautiful and full of energy and whenever we step off a plane or get out of a car she is met by members of her fan club who give her a bouquet of flowers. Everybody bows and giggles...
DIARY OF A COUNTRY BOOKSELLER (10/10/07)
Constant readers often connect an image, memory, or idea from one book to another book, and sometimes several.   A pastor from one of our local Methodist churches stopped by the shop the other day and bought a two-volume set of Remembrances of Things Past by Marcel Proust. I struggled not to chuckle because I connected Proust to a joke Norman Maclean told in his book, A River Runs Through It...
DIARY OF A COUNTRY BOOKSELLER (09/05/07)
John Heartbreak, famous in the small world of booksellers and perhaps my oldest friend, attended the Arkansas Booksellers Show in Little Rock recently at my encouragement. John is famous because he is known to know more about books than most human beings. We are oldest friends because we've been able to forgive one another for more than half a century...
DIARY OF A COUNTRY BOOKSELLER (08/22/07)
There isn't a lot of dirt in Carroll County. I first realized that when I naively set out to put up a fence and busted my posthole digger the minute it stuck the earth. Out came a long iron bar and, two broken shovels later, I had dug a half dozen real sorry little holes. I believe I put up the crookedest, shortest fence in Arkansas history. However, I did have an impressive pile of rocks, probably enough to build a small cathedral or a large pony barn...
Country Bookseller (08/01/07)
Doug Stowe is the Director of Wisdom of the Hands at Clear Spring School in Eureka Springs and a nationally recognized furniture maker especially known for the intricate small boxes he makes. I own all of his books and read them for instruction and for the simple pleasure of seeing how extraordinarily beautiful things are created. My favorite is Making Elegant Custom Tables...
Henry David Thoreau, Henry David Catch? (04/18/07)
For a few days after a lecture on Ralph Waldo Emerson at the Universalist Church last month, there was a brief local run on books by the Transcendentalists, chiefly Emerson, but also Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne et al. With the exception of Hawthorne, I have enjoyed these writers less and less over time...
Dan Krotz
Country Bookseller