Books are not magic

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.


  1. I think maybe I’m being a bitch and maybe they’re just book nerds who are uncomfortable with people.
    But still.
    Don’t be condescending.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But Season 5, so really just WTF why did there have to be Dawn and can’t a Chaos demon just fucking eat her or something?

So here’s a confession: as much as I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I almost only watch season 2 or season 3.  Sometimes it’s on reruns and I’ll watch whatever, and of course I’ll watch, “Once More with Feeling,” any fucking time—like maybe right now instead of writing this—but I have only seen season 7 once. One time.  I’ve seen season 3 so many times that I can say the words along with it like I’m watching Star Wars. So when I was coming home from the fucked up Japanese movie (more about that later) wondering if I should go back to watch the horrendous CBS show (more about that later, too.) and Alex at FD said, she was just going to go home and watch Buffy I envied her, but I also thought, I ALWAYS watch Buffy. I need to watch something new. Jerkpatrick said he was going to rewatch season 5 I thought, WHAT?

Season 5 was originally on in 1999, so when I still lived in San Francisco and maybe videotaped it, but it was so annoying, it’s possible I didn’t even watch the episodes as they were aired because Dawn was so horrible. I don’t even remember when I stopped recording it. I mean, buying DVD seasons didn’t become a thing until the mid aughts.

I mean season Six, when Buffy comes back from the dead is better than season Four “College is so hard” season.

Who watches season Five? Isn’t that when gross little Dawn shows up? YUUUUUck.  Could they have made her more ehlthdh? I don’t know how to express my distain for adding a whiney little annoying thing to Buffy.  Sure, they had Cordelia. But Cordelia never was stupid or a whiner. The character was well written, bratty and intentionally shallow. Meant to represent the person that Buffy would have been had she not be cursed to be the slayer. She wouldn’t have been chilling with the likes of Xander or Willow if she could still have been prom queen or a cheerleader.  But because she was a weirdo who needed some help—which she does always need from Willow, less often from Xander, but also from Angel and Giles, and we are to understand the reason she is so successful as the slayer, more than any other girl before her—she doesn’t die at sixteen like most slayers because of her friends.  But if Dawn had showed up before season 4 NO ONE would have watched this shit. I mean talk about ruining a perfectly good show. Anyway.  This isn’t about Season 4 at all, this is about HOW COME NO ONE LEARNS FROM EVERYONE ELSE’S MISTAKES.  Really? Bringing on a young person worked so fucking well for Family Ties and Growing Pains and every other fucking show that has done it.  And for god’s sake, she’s the same age as they were when the show started, can they stop treating her like she’s four? And can the character stop being written that way?