Talking to Clerks instead of Reading Books?

Bookbread doesn’t usually come across anything sans sensible by Chad W. Post at Three Percent, but this line leaves me slack-jawed:

[Here] in Rochester, we don’t have a single indie—just a few B&Ns and Borders. Which is fine, fine, they carry a lot of books, host readings, etc., etc., but these stores aren’t necessarily set-up to foster discussions between clerk and customer.

Generally, every night before bed, Bookbread prays to Satan Almighty asking for protection from random book discussions with clerks who work in bookstores. After all, what could a clerk possibly tell me about a book, or subject, that I couldn’t already have looked up on the online Dictionary of Literary Biography, JSTOR, Google Books, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Amazon reviews, dozens of RSS feeds (including Three Percents), or the recommendations from the books I’ve already read, recommendations that probably germinated my interest for the book-at-hand that I’m about to purchase?

Does Bookbread really need to intellectually interact with some jerk-off just because he/she works in a bookstore? Some folks may go to church just for mass—and that’s fine—but don’t expect Bookbread to stroll through stacks and shelves for the sole purpose of seeking out communion with other bibliophiles. If I really wanted to talk to others about books, Bookbread would just blog.


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