If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The End of Westmoreland's Used Book Store

Westmoreland’s Used Book store is as all but dead now.

Yesterday I drove by and noticed it has finally conceded that our town is actually as illiterate as ‘all that’ and has hung a ‘For Rent’ sign about the boney neck of its doorknob.

Before I go on, let me remind you that Westmoreland does not have a stop light within the town proper and is nestled in the Appalachian foothills, near enough to the mountains that you can readily note the hillbilly gene in one out of every three of its inhabitants.

That said, the store opened less than a year ago in Westmoreland’s sub-prime retail district: the Town square, four doors up from Mike’s Food Valu.

I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who thought—politely, under my breath and behind the backs of the joyous new business owners, stocking their fresh, pine shelves—What? Are you people idiots?

Other than a grocery and an auto parts store, the only business I can think of that might survive on the Town square would be a meth lab. Provided they could work out the legalities.

No native of Westmoreland, that I know of, has ever read a book for pleasure. Other than the Bible, and I hardly see how that counts. Isn’t there something these people could have Googled first? A background check on the Town? Hell, just standing out in the square for fifteen minutes, I think the Town’s level of ignorance... sorry, rural charm... would have been evident enough to convince them to peddle their wares... say, in… well, anywhere but Westmoreland.

Regardless the inevitability, I am sorry to see the little store close. It had nice books and great prices. Maybe they should try back in another hundred years.


  1. That pains me. Anytime a book store closes it pains me especially a used book store. Even when my favorite one here moved and they closed the old one it was and is a loss.
    I dream of myself as the proprietor of a bookstore like Mr Koreander's in "The Never ending Story". I would have to have enough funds to support it here because I live in the heart of illiteracy but it is a nice daydream.

  2. Even if it wasn't a smart move, you have to admire the dreamer who thought that (s)he could make this work; could sell books in this little town. I see a story here, but whether you want to write it or you want to let me take it is entirely up to you.

    (Although, I can't say if I'll actually have anything worth posting, as my prose is stiff and awkward most of the time).

  3. Sorry to hear this... used book stores are one of my favourite places.. we'll soon be chanting "where oh, where have all the used books gone, oh where oh where can they be?".

    I often contemplate what 20 years is going to bring down on us all and I just can't get a picture to form... or at least not one I really like.


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