18 June 2009

Elegy for a Bookstore

At the beginning of next week I will start my annual summer teaching gig in Ann Arbor. It is in many ways a nice town, (if not quite as special as many of its denizens seem to imagine. In particular it has, over the years been overrun by the same chain stores and restaurants that you can find in virtually every other city college town in the U.S.. This has meant, really, the demise of what is unique about the place. Two years ago I noted the demise of Schoolkids Records and just a few months back, I'd commented on the difficulties that the folks at Shaman Drum Books were experiencing. Well, I just read this post by Anna Clark at Isak that Shaman Drum will close at the end of this month. It means that I will need to find something else to do to decompress after teaching since I typically would spend some time browsing the shelves and spending money at Shaman Drum. It means too the town is now dominated by Borders and Barnes & Noble both of which are distinctly limited in their offerings of serious fare (especially non-fiction). This is sad news. It hastens the already rapid cultural homogenization in Ann Arbor.

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Blogger Hans said...

Have a fine summer in AA, Jim, there are a lot of young minds out there to be twisted in the right direction!

19 June, 2009 02:38  
Blogger mekie said...

Hi Jim,

May I ask what you teach? I'm an Ann Arbor denizen - hence, curious.

19 June, 2009 08:28  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

That's a shame. I had your course there in 1997, and I loved the local stores, including Shaman Drum. As an added bonus, I was able to link the formal theory I was learning in grad school to the normative theory I had learned as an undergrad (and now sometimes teach).

19 June, 2009 15:59  
Blogger asgb said...

I guess you will just have to spend your down time watching quality french films at the local cinema or perhaps playing pool.

22 June, 2009 06:58  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Yes, indeed, pool is a great way to pass time even if I remain a pretty poor player. I don't think I played at all last year. So, it must be time to try again.

22 June, 2009 12:56  

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