Powell's books in PortlandSome of my favorite places in the world are Powell's Books in Portland, The Ohio Book Store in Cincinnati and the Renaissance Book Shop in Milwaukee, among other like retail monuments to the written word. Imho, there is nothing quite like browsing a bookshop for hours, squeezing through narrow mazes of underlit, overcrowded shelves, savoring every breathe of must and dust and dry-rotting pulp, hoping to find an overlooked first edition [doubtful anything so rare and glorious as a copy of Poe's 'Tamerlane', but there are finds to be had].

Unfortunately, indeed, the handwriting is on the wall. Ebooks are the future and even old book scouts like us are contemplating Kindles.

Some visitors to the house a while back walked into the library and said 'My, look. Books all over the walls. We're out of our league in the brain department'. I said, 'Not to worry, we don't really read, it's just a big mural we had painted so we look like readers'. Everyone laughed, but in 5 years, it may very well not be a joke. Instead, they'll ask 'Oh, my, a Kindle. What version of firmware do you have?'

It may be the future, but it just ain't the same…heavy sigh…





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