Friday, December 12, 2014

Old and Rare Doesn't Mean Obsolete


Hello all! I hope your weeks were more splendid than the thought of a thousand reindeer doing a conga line to "Winter Wonderland."

A quick reminder, for the rest of this month half of my proceeds from "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" will be going to benefit SpokAnimal!

So help critters like Grizzley here find homes! By the way, Grizzley is up for adoption! So if anyone would love this little six year old ball of fluff, go get him.

So this week I'm diverging from my normal snarky, yet happy-go-lucky, post but it is for something that I believe is important. 

This past month owner of Spokane independent bookstore, Monkeyboy Books, Marina, announced that she may have to close up shop in the next couple of months.

I find this extremely regretable. Not only is Marina a great supporter of independent authors, but her store offers something unique; A chance to find real literary treasures and turn up wonderful memories in an atmosphere of calm, serene comfort.

Independent bookstores selling rare and old books, like Monkeyboy Books, give us something that no Barnes and Noble can provide; A chance to touch history, find the lost pieces of our own pasts and possibly discover a new adventure bound in a cover that has let others discover that same shared adventure.

We live in a society that has very little value for 'permanent' and 'rare.'

It's like our nation as a whole has a fast food mentality. New phones that will be obsolete in five months, old family recipes that have been reduced, stuffed with preservatives and packaged for four minutes of microwave convenience, even our relationships now can be decided with the swipe of a thumb across a smartphone screen.

What independent bookshops provide us with is a moment to wander through a setting that is both familiar and unexpected and provides us with something tangible, something real, something that will not easily go away.

Let me give you an example. My childhood was not exactly tiptoeing through the tulips (not complaining, just a fact). I faced trouble at school and at home, and one of my few escapes was through the world of books. When I was around four years old I found a book called Robin Hood

I sat for hours reading, and rereading, through the stories of the daring Robin Hood, the bold Little John, the cunning Maid Marion and the conniving Sheriff of Nottingham. The book had few pictures, but I didn't need them as my imagination took me on adventures that would stick with me well into adulthood.

It was while wandering through Monkeyboy Books that I happened to look down at a shelf of old fairy tales and legends, that I found the exact copy of Robin Hood that I had read so much that I literally cracked the spine of it as a child.

It was like running into an old friend and remembering all the wonderful things that you used to do together. Taking that book home and reading it again was a feeling that could not be emulated scrolling through pictures on Instagram or picking up some new cheap gadget from WalMart.

It's not just about supporting local businesses, though that is important too. Being a patron to independent book shops protects your right to have the option to find something unique, treasured and rewarding.

So please, find a local independent bookseller, one that makes you feel welcomed, comfortable, with just a touch of adventure and support them with your business. I promise you won't regret it. 

If you want to find out ways to possibly help save Monkeyboy Books, please visit them on their Facebook page.

As always, I can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Goodreads!

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