Friday, July 13, 2012

Adobe Bookshop Closes

Adobe Bookshop by deanv41
Adobe Bookshop, a photo by deanv41 on Flickr.
These are the final days of Adobe Bookshop.
The man sitting outside with the headband has done so since I can remember, writing poems in very small print on all sides of the paper, sideways, upside-down, and around it. I wonder where I'll see him next, if again. In a room at the back of the shop musicians would play for tightly-packed audiences. It's been a long time since authors came to read here, but local writers could still try to sell their works on the shelves inside or racks of zines by the entry. A rotating set of regulars comfortably seated in stuffed chairs and unfashionable couches always kept the keeper company. It was a low key literary hang out that people finally took for granted, or the owner decided it was time to close for good. Maybe both. That was The Mission then, full of such shops, but no more.
It's all about pricey shoe stores or restaurants with small plates & big checks now.
In the twenty odd years I've lived in San Francisco, the number of bookshops has gone from dozens to a handful to a couple. For me, the end of the storefront book trade is one of the most disheartening changes wrought by technology and hubris in the 21st Century upon American Cities.
Everything On Sale! All of Western and Most of Eastern Civilization! Fifty Percent Off! Must Go! Forever!

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