University presses are remarkable allies in the cause of localism. Though they publish all kinds of academic books, you’ll struggle to find a state university press that does not publish books centered on their region and their local history. It is central to their mission. Strictly academic works are certainly part of university press catalogues, but too many people have forgotten about the many other kinds of books that university presses publish.
Out-of-sight, out-of-mind is the quintessential modern American problem-solving strategy, and it sure does have a lot going for it, when it comes to dealing with our problem of stuff—that other quintessential modern American problem. Alas, it won’t work in this case, for we really do pull these things off the shelves regularly to look up one thing or another. And it is wonderfully convenient to be able to say “oh, yes, here’s where I read about this topic” to a friend who is over for dinner—and then pull the book I’m thinking about off the shelf, right then and there.
His books are not a diminishment of historic and intellectual Christianity. They are a translation of Aquinas, Barth, Calvin, and the rest into the language we all speak innately but are all too often deaf to: the language of our quotidian lives, in which the undifferentiated mass of uncertain “certain things” forms the alphabet of grace.
Establishments like The Bookstore, when at their best, are not exclusively or perhaps even primarily in the business of providing people with printed texts. They are places in which proprietors like Tannenbaum foster community in the context of a shared love of the written word. When the need to physically isolate undermines the ability of such places to foster this community, they are at risk of becoming less essential to their patrons.
Fran Liebowitz suggests that “a book isn’t supposed to be a mirror, it’s supposed to be a door.” Universities are the same. They are not meant to simply reflect the times and trends. They are intended to open doors to existing knowledge and doors to a reimagined future.
Alan Jacobs is right that if we would receive a blessing from the dead, we will have to wrestle with them.
Christian monastic pioneers saw that books left on the windowsill are more likely to make an impression on those outside than on those within.
The day after Thanksgiving yields a joy of three parts. The first joy is that of an introvert newly restored to peace and quiet...
Go here to read the first part of this two-part essay on the American Bookstore. Several hours before a home game at the University of Michigan, the owner of a bookstore on...
Three articles recently caught my eye, all of which having to do with scholars' fame, only two having to do with their libraries. The bookless...
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