Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Oak Books

Black Oak Books closed its store on May 31. (They say that they are still taking orders online!) Alas and woe: it had the best used math section in Berkeley, and it was the only place I could find a copy of Hope Leslie (1827) when I was studying for my qualifying exam.

Berkeley is still a good book town, what with Moe's, Pegasus, University Press Books,* the tiny-but-cute Analog Books on Euclid, the endearingly weird Other Change of Hobbit, and of course Small Press Distribution. Even Shakespeare & Co. is a lot better than it used to be. But Cody's-that-was is still an empty shell on Telegraph, and what kind of vulture would move in, anyway?

Nigel Beale argues that between rents and states' decisions not to tax Amazon orders, most independent bookstores are doomed, and he laments the loss of "unique places to browse, touch, talk about and buy books," urging, "Patronize your local independent bookstore, new and used." (Via Neil.)

Ron Silliman, in contrast, has met the issue with a tone of weary resignation for a long time.

But on the other hand, he chronicles the losses faithfully.

*Thanks for reminding me, Ed. Can't believe I forgot that one.


skg said...

They're moving to San Pablo x Dwight, which I think of as the littler, less posh, wannabe Fourth Street emulation.

Natalia said...

Yet one more reason I wish the 9 ran more frequently.

(But why would anyone want to emulate Fourth Street? It is hell. I wish Mrs. Dalloway's would move there, where it belongs.)

skg said...

*nods* Two miles each way is not insurmountable....

(No idea. Half the shops scare me. Eccolo dinner and Bette's fruit crisp are pretty good, though.)

ed said...

Don't forget about University Press Books on Bancroft (the one with the sign that says "Ten Thousand Minds on Fire").

skg said...

Farewell, however, to Cartesian Books on Dwight a few doors down from Telegraph, which appears now to be a clothing boutique. I rarely drive up Dwight (yet did so today); I've no idea when it closed.