Sometimes, you are too close to something to fully articulate your feelings. That may be the case with Vertigo Books. So let’s jump to Alex Beckstead, maker of Paperback Dreams, talking with SFist.
"Because faster and cheaper isn’t always better, and because diversity of thought and ownership are both critical to innovation and the vibrancy of local culture and an informed citizenry. One of Cody’s past employees once drew an analogy between the value of independent bookstores and the Slow Food Movement. As much as I love the internet, I think we’re overdue for a Slow Culture Movement. I mean, movies replaced books to some degree, and then TV replaced movies and now 3 minute You Tube clips are replacing TV. There’s a lot of value in the way culture is speeding up, connecting, and democratizing. But there’s also a richness and a value that can only come from the experience of being alone with 500 well written pages. Breadth is great, but so is depth. I believe in the value of a liberal education, and I admire people who aspire to informed generalism. That’s independent booksellers in a nutshell. Carlo Petrini launched Slow Food by passing out pasta in front of McDonald’s in Rome. I wish a bookish version of Petrini could lead people by the laptop to a great independent bookstore.
It’s easy to think of places like independent bookstores as eternal parts of the landscape. They were there before us, they’ll be there after. It’s not necessarily true. Keeping interesting bookstores alive means spending money there, showing that we value them by opening our wallets and letting them help expand our minds. Daniel Mendez, who gathered the investors who saved Kepler’s, points out that people feel the loss of an independent bookstore when closes, but that they forget that these stores are something they love and value when the crisis passes. He says booksellers need amnesia prevention. The film is an act of amnesia prevention, and I hope it starts a conversation about the value of books and bookstores."