Common Language Bookstore 317
Braun Court Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (734) 663-0036
Common Language Bookseller Lois
Huff wrote this great piece about books and bookstores. We celebrate
the great bookstores on Fourth Avenue by publishing it here.
The Bookstores on 4th Ave
In the beginning, and especially
today, people have asked the all-important questions . . .
What Is a Book?
It is an Object, beloved
to many, which comprises a series of printed pages enclosed
between covers. A spine helps hold the book upright
on a shelf. The book is pleasing to the eye and substantial
in the hand. It exists through the combined efforts
of author, editor, publisher, manufacturer, distributor,
and bookseller. A book can also be produced in electronic
format, but we wonít talk about that here.
It is History. Bound
books have been an integral part of Western culture since
at least the fifth century AD. Fortunate is he who
owns a first-edition copy of Action Comics #1.
It is Information, Instruction,
Entertainment, Art. Books contain the finest fruits
of the human mind, the wisdom of the ages, and detailed
procedures for doing or making just about anything.
It is Decor. A stack
of books resting happily on a bookshelf or an oversize book
on a coffee table speaks ďvolumesĒ about a personís interests,
education, and priorities in life.
It is Nostalgia. All
of us keep a favorite book somewhere that was given to us
as a child, belonged to a beloved grandparent, or was signed
by Freddie Mercury.
It is Green. A book
is not only entirely recyclable, it is reuseable. When
itís time to part with a book, it can be given as a gift,
loaned to a neighbor, donated to a library, sold to a used
book store, or handed down to a future generation. If
properly cared for, it will last a very long time. A
book is portable, does not require batteries, and emits
no electromagnetic radiation.
It is Currency. It
can be bartered for food, clothing, and the other essentials
of life, or better yet, it can be swapped for more books.
What Is a Bookstore?
It can be a megalithic,
impersonal, slick, profit-driven e-commerce enterprise which
makes no distinction between a book and a chrome-plated
shower head, but we wonít talk about that here.
It is more often a real
brick-and-mortar building which contains thousands of books,
all for sale, and a staff of real people to help and advise
you. It can be a corporately-owned bookstore, which
exists mainly for the benefit of the shareholder, or a privately-owned,
independent bookstore which participates in the energy and
vitality of a neighborhood in a city or town.
The neighborhood bookstore
is commonly staffed by the owner and a handful of assistants,
all of whom are passionate about the books they sell. They
are knowledgeable about the community, happy to see you
come through the door, often know you by name, and always
welcome the chance to serve.
Ann Arborís 4th Ave boasts
FIVE neighborhood bookstores, all distinctive in the types
of books they sell, all intertwined in the dynamic collage
of life in Ann Arbor.
Please join us in celebrating 4th
Aveís long tradition of friendly, independent neighborhood bookstores!
shopping online, privacy, shipping and returns: