Written on the Dock of the Bay: February 24th, 2011
I have come to you to report a soon-to-be-dead friend. Borders is dying. It is not under emergency care, it's just, you know, going to die. Borders in the Bay Area will go with it, including two in San Francisco and one each in Los Gatos, Alameda, Fremont, Pleasanton, Union City, San Ramon, and San Mateo. When I was reading the digital version of "Twelfth Night" on my laptop at the Borders on Market Street, I realized, "Wait, Borders sells books, which are on their bookshelves, right over there." It hit me that I, and the internet, are complicit in the killing of book-selling superstore and former super star Borders. (If you want to reap the fleeting benefits of the death of Borders, I recommend you hurry and check out the sales.)
But there is good news: this Saturday, the Park Branch Library will be alive again! At 1PM, celebrations will begin on 1833 Page St. in San Francisco to reveal all its reconstructed neoclassical glory. You can look forward to an evolved children's area, new teen section, more public computers, and not one, but two new public restrooms. The lower-level community meeting room has improved audio visual equipment, lights, and flooring for future events at this library. Borders may have super sales, but at libraries, books run at a 100% discount – for those who agree to return them.
I am always interested in book stores that have double identities: book store/laundromats, book store/opera houses, book store/dolphin watching cruise ship getaways – these are all great. At Bird & Beckett Books and Records on 653 Chenery St. in San Francisco, records are for sale and music booms. On Friday, February 25th from 5:30 to 8:00, this bookstore will be hosting "Jazz in the Bookshop," where five very cool people will be playing jazz. Then on Sunday, February 27th, Pakistani vocalistS Riffat Sultana, Shiraz Ali Khan, and Ferhan Qureshi will play some "sham churasi gharana" of the Hindu tradition. That's what's hot.
While we are taking a look at this book store, on Thursday, February 24th, patrons at Bird & Beckett Books and Records are invited to read out loud the works of writers they admire who were born in February. This means, you get to hear your own cool, hip voice, and others get to hear it as well! I vote you read from Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, was supposedly brainwashed, robbed a bunch of banks, was taken by the FBI in our wonderful San Francisco, and then wrote a book about it. Or you could just read Charles Dickens, but he's neither local nor was arrested at a local place. Remember: Think local criminal activities.
Up until February 27th, all used books at Bird & Beckett will be 20%. Their description of the sale says it best: "Throw your kindle on the fire and adjust your reading light just so.” That's right – burn, Kindle, burn! It's book reading time. On my next trips to libraries and book stores, I promise to keep my labtop at home.