Egret and crab

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Bottom Shelf

My friend and long time Blast reader Helen works at the Bottom Shelf bookstore next to the library and has something to do with their newsletter. She knows that I am a semi-regular there. She asked me if I wanted to contribute a less than 500 word essay on my thoughts regarding the place. 

The Bottom Shelf has been in Fallbrook for a very long time and it certainly has its unique charms. I am not sure when this blurb will be published, hope that it is okay that I print it here preemptively.

Why do I love the Bottom Shelf? It is a good question. The simple answer is that I love books and the rare breed of people who still read and enjoy them. The Bottom Shelf has both of them. I usually head for the classics, where I can reacquaint myself with old friends but I also like to scour the paperback science fiction and detective stuff. You see, the regular library has been largely denuded of the titles that tickle my literary cockles. Try to find a book by Rex Stout, Mary Roberts Rhinehart or Arthur Upfield at a library these days. Good luck. You at least stand a chance at the Bottom Shelf. I like good writers that can stand the test of time. I bought a compendium of O.Henry last year, written before 1910. Still great. In our throwaway culture such authors were relegated to the dustbin in some library putsch of the recent past and are nigh impossible to find. It is horrible to say but I find a lot of contemporary writing unreadable.The little shop on the left gives me a chance to jump into something fabulous, some times for as cheap as a dime. It has been worth it every time.


Sanoguy said...

Have they re-opened?

Blue Heron said...

Not yet...

Wilbur Norman said...

As far as I am concerned, bookshops are still a staple - and necessary, requirement for a civilized society. Especially a democratic society.

I do have an e-book device for those long flights when one might want to choose amongst a selection of materials depending upon mood. But, it's really a love affair with paper for me.

A book as a 'thing', a physical object in my hands, affects me much as scientists say petting with a dog affects the human heart rate and mental state: I slow down (after displaying a quickened, gleeful pulse if it is a book I have been searching for) and thumb thru the pages. I appreciate if the book at hand is a well-made object, feel a certain level of scorn if it is poorly put together. Whoever came up with the description "perfect binding" for those glued-down-the-spine affairs that so easily fall apart must have been a political speech writing hack.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. Without books we would have no 'advanced' anything other than warfare.