So That’s What A Book Looks Like

While the sale of e-books continues to skyrocket, traditional bookstores continue to fight for customers attention.
While the sale of e-books continues to skyrocket, traditional bookstores continue to fight for customers attention.
The Second Story Books store at Dupont Circle has become somewhat of a rare books landmark in the neighborhood.
The Second Story Books store at Dupont Circle has become somewhat of a rare books landmark in the neighborhood.
At Second Story Books carts full of books are placed outside the store for customer to purchase under an apparent honor system.
At Second Story Books carts full of books are placed outside the store for customer to purchase under an apparent honor system.
The eclectic bookstore offerings and old-fashioned displays add significant character to the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
The eclectic bookstore offerings and old-fashioned displays add significant character to the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
While traditional books continue to appeal to an older generation, today's youth is not so taken with nostalgia.
While traditional books continue to appeal to an older generation, today’s youth is not so taken with nostalgia.

I’m always fascinated by bookstores.  Never mind that long ago I made the transition to e-readers, though, because no matter this surrender to the modern era, I still can’t resist the lingering nostalgia that comes from having been part of the pre-Internet generation.  Not that my memory of simpler times leads to any sale during my visits (carrying a camera all day seems enough for me these days), but rather that in the process of transitioning to the digital age, all sorts of things were admittedly lost in the process.  The physical sensation that comes from walking between rows and rows of books, the orderly lack of uniformity and topics on the shelves, and the childish satisfaction that accompanied the process of purchasing a book.  All great things, but perhaps more relevant to an era when physical access to a whole slew of bookstores was more the norm rather than an exception.  Notwithstanding this reality, bookstores out there are not giving up without a fight and seem to have figured something out by concentrating in neighborhoods that do away with the need for anyone to get into a car to reach them.  This is good news.  But is this a last stand or the wave of the future?  Hard to say.  What I know is that bookstores are still out there, and that just in case, we must all enjoy them while we can.

To Look Or Not To Look

Perhaps people are not invisible when stepping outside as they would otherwise think.
Perhaps people are not invisible when stepping outside as they would otherwise think.
Then again, the notion that everyone is always noticing what we do could be highly overstated.
Then again, the notion that everyone is always noticing what we do could be highly overstated.

We have to sometimes wonder whether it is best to be noticed when we are out and about, or whether it is better if no one ever pays us any attention.  After all, some of us do spend a little bit of time color coordinating, placing the hair just so, and making sure that there is not much out of place before we venture into the open world where self-anointed fashion critics lurk around coffee shops and sidewalk restaurants to mercilessly critique our threads and the way we wear them.  OK, I’ll admit that this is a bit overstated, but hey, that’s the way it feels sometimes.  Of course, I must admit that I’m using “yours truly” as a point of reference, which is all I’m an authority at, and that most of you out there are quite the head-turners (in a good way, that is).  But be that as it may, the point is that while some people do deck-up so that at least someone notices them, other folks couldn’t care less about the unwanted attention.  That’s a pity, because being noticed reminds us that we are alive and that we are part of the great human story of our times.  So go out, strut your stuff, notice and be noticed.  Take it all in, because these will be the memories of your life.