By now, you’ve heard the sad, sad, unbelievably sad news. I would have written sooner but it’s taken me a few days to get up the strength to reach the machine. Talk about a punch to the midsection.
I must clarify that I’m not any more connected to the behind-the-scenes decision making process than you are. But even just based on the news that has been shared publicly, I certainly can’t blame the powers that be for making this call. Carleton College opened River City Books as a service and benefit to the community. The economic climate — generally and especially within the book trade — is much different today than it was in 2002, as many larger, more established bookstores in many cities across the country have fallen in recent years. RCB was not intended as a money-making venture; it was about helping downtown, which sorely needed a bookstore, and the college went above and beyond to create and sustain a fine store that provided, among other things, quality culture and good jobs. In fact, despite the decision, the mission’s intent still makes me appreciative.
Even if the news still hurts!
A day or so before I got word, I received my copy of the Jan. 5 New Yorker. I can’t believe that cover. Of all weeks! That’s a bit how I feel. RCB has been not just a source of income but more than that it’s been, at least for me, a connection to community. I’ll always have many fond memories of time spent there, talking to people about books (is there anything better?) … Hey, before I get teary, before I take a long walk down Memory Lane, I’ll cut myself off and just say that I’m going keep pounding these letters until they take the keyboard away. So I’ll have time to reflect in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, the sale ends Jan. 9. Still many great deals to be had!