Cheer up, bibliophiles | Bleader

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cheer up, bibliophiles

Posted By on 02.10.12 at 02:20 PM

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Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
  • Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
It's an irony of the new era that people who worry about the Internet destroying good writing—thoughtful journalism, great books—often use the Internet to cheer one another up. Last night I received this Salon post, sent around by a staff writer here at the Reader, suggesting that substance sells even in the blogosphere. And then my wife forwarded Emily Temple's marvelous post from Flavorpill, listing—and, best of all, illustrating—the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world.

If I have a quibble with Temple's selection, it's that she left out a 21st MBBW: Rick Tuttle's B Books in Three Oaks, Michigan. Tuttle, who describes himself, accurately, as "a painter, writer, graphic designer, carpenter, and lover of literature," built the place himself in the first floor of a big, old house. He's called it, again accurately, a "wonder cabinet." B Books's only shortcoming is that it closed last year. Either there wasn't enough business to support Tuttle's serio-idiosyncratic vision in that community of farmers and vacation-home owners, or Tuttle did himself in by giving so many books away. I hesitated to go there for fear he'd send me off with even more of his potential profits.

Of course, that leads to the question of how the wonder cabinets on Temple's list can possibly survive. But save that for later. We're cheering one another up now. Let's just look.

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