Is anyone else experiencing Fall Fever? You know, that time of year when the months of oppressive heat and nightmarish humidity have crushed us to the point where we’re itching to open our windows and (gasp!) wear denim again. Maybe this only applies to those of us roasting in the southern US, but Fall Fever is very real, and I’m feeling it.
In a not-at-all-tragic turn of events, independent bookstores are enjoying a resurgence, partly thanks to the failure of giant bookselling behemoths (Borders, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble), who didn’t learn much from the Roman Empire and tried to expand beyond their means and demand. The number of indie bookstores in the US has increased by more than 20 percent since 2009, which is great news for those of us who prefer a bit of a shabby, cozy book browsing/smelling/buying experience. Indie bookstores know their audience and they cater to the quirky passions of their readers. They get it. Let’s show our support.
I hear a lot of people, both in and out of the library world, talk about how print is dying and how people don’t read print books anymore. Print book sales prove this to be untrue; not only are we still buying and reading print, but we’re more obsessed than ever with the fate of the printed word. One such “lost library” exists in the arid Sahara Desert in a town called Chinguetti, once a thriving hub of scholarship and international intellectualism. Mother Nature and Father Time are conspiring to deteriorate the once-flourishing collection of rare texts, stacked on mud shelves in crumbling library huts.
Apparently, it’s the book news edition of hot topics, so I’ll share a fun one. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, millenials are more likely to have read a book in the past year than Americans over 30. Millenials are also more likely to have used a library website in the past year, which is heartening, as this generation of young readers will become champions of libraries in years to come.
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.