Monday, January 19, 2009

R.I.P. Schwartz

I can't say I've been a good patron in the last decade, but it's really weirding me out and making me sad that Schwartz Bookshop is closing all of its locations on March 31st.

Back when I lived on Milwaukee's East Side, I'd spend a lot of time in their Downer store. Those were in the days when books were my life, my first and second years of college. Most days, I'd go hide on the top floor of the Golda Meir library, by the fiction section, discovering Stephen Dixon, discovering Malcom Lowry, discovering a ton of others. When I wanted a break, or on the weekend, I'd walk to Schwartz to see what was new.

Both places had the same calm for me, the same purity of intention.

I'm not a bibliophile by any stretch. Most of the books I read are from the library. I like the transitory, Socialistic, sudden rush nature of what a good book offers. Having it sit on your own shelf, unread, makes it seem almost dead. I like to be struck with awe and then let it be passed on, do its magic on someone else.

So that's one of the main reason I didn't keep up my Schwartz habit, why I didn't funnel money into their pocket. But still, despire my inexcusable inaction, there's this unreasonable sadness...

82 years in business. That's a long time. Now, there's just the rubble of tradition, the sweeping up of something that seemed entrenched, permient.

Something that was good.

1 comment:

jennifer bastian said...

why is this happening?!? I had no idea, how sad.