Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Night the Last Page Turned

If a Chapters outlet closes they have a sale. When Pages bookstore closed they held a wake. The Gladstone was filled to the rafters with Toronto's literati, hipsters, bon vivants, sexy librarians and curious onlookers (did I mention the sexy librarians?) One after another, friends of Pages past and present (though I guess they're all "past" now) stood in front of the gathering recounting books found and friends made.

 As the stories grew darker and tears started to appear in the eyes of many I thought I'd step out of the crowded bar just to feel some air. Sitting on a concrete step was a well-dressed artist having a smoke break. Unfortunately I don't smoke otherwise I would've gladly joined him. I went for fries instead. Have you ever wanted a coffee and run into a coffee shop and immediately known this cup was going to cost approximately twice what a normal cup would cost? That's what this French-fry shop was like. Still, it satisfied. On my way back to the Gladstone for another drink I met a colleague and we decided to have that drink together. We wound up sitting next to a group made up of those who earlier in the evening were eulogizing Pages Bookstore and praising it's owner and life force, Marc Glassman.

 It occurred to me that without Pages Bookstore, this table of like- minded folks may not ever convene again. Rep theatres, record stores and book shops - dying breeds all, done in by digital media or the economic scale of big box stores. For all the talk of "community" on the Internet, it cannot create a place like Pages Books or The Revue Theatre or SoundScapes. Because I still value those places I don't see why they can't stay open and serve a certain market - me. I guess a market of one is really a market of none.

For more on the Pages sendoff see The Torontoist.

Posted via email from peterrogers's posterous

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