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!

 

 

 

 

 

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