Books are Magic
Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
May 11, 2017
Let’s start with this: BOOKS ARE NOT MAGIC.
The dumbest name for a bookstore ever. Sounds like it’s coming from the condescending idiot who works in a bookstore/library/own head that thinks that reading/writing books makes a person somehow better than…who the fuck knows what.
First of all, books are not magic. Magic is fucking magic. Turning straw into gold (Rumpelstiltskin, Bros. Grimm) is magic, like arriving in a shower of gold to rape Danae (Mythology, Hamilton,) or walking through fire with baby dragons (Game of Thrones, Martin), or even giving birth to the son of god while being a virgin (New Testament, Some Old White Jewish Men,) are also magic, and yes found in books, but MAGIC is not real. That’s why it’s fucking magic, and big deal on things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (see: Amy and her life as a rat.) and when David Blane stands up on a pillar in front of Central Park (see early Aughts, New York Times), but not books.
Books are words (and images) on paper.
Nothing fucking magic about that at all.
Ideas can do things to minds and inspire and incite all sorts of things. See the above mentioned “New Testament” and think all the disasters “magic” it has done for the world. (See: president trump, the Crusades, ISIS (the terrorist group, not the Egyptian goddess), and Notre Dame (Paris, France.)
But just saying “books are magic” is imbecilic.
That aside, I know some of my fury at that bookstore comes entirely from it not being BookCourt. And my anger at them just closing BookCourt, which was the best bookstore in New York city and maybe the best bookstore on this coast, (in CA Bookstore Santa Cruz probably wins, though Elliot Bay is a pretty good ducking bookstore.) instead of selling it to someone or something. Who knows what happened. I wasn’t privy to it, just collateral damage. Perhaps Emma Straub (writer of the book the Vacationeers, which I found on the street and still haven’t read, blame it on the cutesy cover, the first page seemed like it was good, and whatever that one is about living in Ditmas, which might be that one and the one I found on the street might be a different one, which I checked out from the library and seems like it’s good, too.) knew beforehand that BookCourt was closing (probably, no one would have bothered to try to compete with that bookstore,) and htat’s why she opened up, and it does look like if she didn’t buy BookCourt’s shelves, she certainly had the same carpenter build hers, to fill the void. But stop it with the condescending name.
Don’t know when they opened, maybe a few weeks? The shelves are not full, and the shelves are curated only with “literary” fiction, which means Brooklyn writers, even if they’re dumb, but not mass market even if it’s good, and apparently they’ve gotten all the Brooklyn writers (read: half of all fiction writers in America) to come by and sign some of their books, but then they had to brand all the books by putting tacky stickers that say “Signed book at Books Are Magic.” Ug.
I was still going to buy a book because I wanted to be a supporter, even though Straub (who was in the store and much taller than expected and apparently not a fan of classic rock and made the cute young girl manning the register nervous by pointing it out. BTW, it was Joe Walsh singing about his Maserati, which might be overplayed, but is still a great song, (Eagles haters can stfu because I’ll never believe that was your own opinion and you didn’t get it from the Dude.) talked to a group of four year olds like they were idiots and not just little, but the husband, showing off for the aforementioned shop clerk, told a story about some writer having signed a book and some customer being impressed that he knew the writer. He said this to show of to shopgirl (his voice had bad actor in it) and maybe to whomever else was in the store. But come on. We live in New York City. Every other person here is famous, and the ones who aren’t are fuckign recreating sustainable farming or programming the backbones of major software development.
Don’t be condescending.
- I think maybe I’m being a bitch and maybe they’re just book nerds who are uncomfortable with people.
Don’t be condescending.