When I wrote that my college town was missing its beloved indie bookshop (after the demise of the generically named College Hill Bookstore) I spoke too soon: A local new-and-used store called Symposium Books grabbed a space near campus last fall, which I passed on one of many "But wait, what was there before?" tours of the street. I wasn't able to go in and check it out because of its holiday hours, but the prospect of a used bookstore that close to campus is a great sign. I certainly could have used it.
Interestingly, the campus store has also remodeled to give its non-course-reading section more of a "Come here and linger awhile" feeling, with overstuffed armchairs and a cafe pouring Blue State Coffee (an establishment and chain new to me, but two dirty Commie bleeding-heart thumbs up). I see the redesign as an acknowledgment that, even as most students rely on the campus store to get their books, that trade has its peaks and valleys which are in itself insufficient to sustain a business year-round. That, or the next generation of proud parents, alums, etc. are not buying enough T-shirts and water bottles. (Guilty, at least this weekend.)
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