No, not those kind of bookies,the ones who appear in noir novels and tend to tie concrete blocks to their clients’ ankles.
This is a new use of the term.
I thought of it after reading an article in New York Magazine about how foodie-ism has become cool for the twenty-something, hipster set. To paraphrase journalist Michael Idov, donburi and pickled lamb tongues are in. So is spending 25% of one’s paycheck on food.This is not your parent’s golf game or night at the opera.
Hey, I love food as much as the most avid New Yorker. Some have accused me of squandering my children’s college funds on a pint of organic raspberries. But what I really spend money on is books. And while foodie-ism seems to me to hit heights of the ridiculous–saffron foam? bee pollen soot? really?–in much the same way that runway fashion does, books and bookstores seldom do. (Snookie’s advance aside).
Bookstores are places of conversation and stimulation and exchange sufficient to make the most tech-easy twenty-something, who’s able to chat with seven friends at the same time, wide-eyed at the riches. If you look at some of these photos, I think you’ll agree that a bookstore is a pretty cool place to be.
I’d like to see young people, old people, in between people pouring into bookstores the way they pour into restaurants or other sites of leisure.
Make your next date night at a bookstore. It’s cheaper than two movie tickets, and you actually get to take something home. A great way to get to know the guy or girl you’re with, or reconnect with a spouse, is observing what volumes they pick up, and which they walk away with. Over your dinner doused with bee pollen foam, you can talk about your new purchases.
I co-host a writing series at a wonderful independent bookstore, and we try to make our events an awful lot like a party. Food, wine, conversation, mingling after the panel discussion, and of course, books. People have met agents there, editors who want to see their manuscripts, and made writing friends for life.
Because you can have your rosemary biscotti or other foodie treat in a bookstore. Many of them have cafes, and one thing I predict more of is that these cafes will start being destinations of their own, serving not lumpen, over-sweet pastries made elsewhere and shipped in, but delicacies unique to that bookstore’s region.
Perhaps the bookseller will have a friend who’s always wanted to bake pastries and the two will marry their businesses (as takes place in author Maryann McFadden’s soon-to-be-released novel about a bookseller and a writer). Or perhaps a restaurant will move in close enough to be kissing cousins with the bookstore-next-door as you have at the great Left Bank Books and Tap House & Wine Bar in St. Louis.
The perfect convergence of trends–social communion, local, homespun food, and deep thinking–can take place at a bookstore in a way that makes them much more than trends.
Lived at a bookstore.
How hip is that?