Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"A Place to Curate Ideas and Experiences"

The folks over at the Melville House blog, Moby Lives, are running a marvelous Q&A series featuring some of our country's best indie booksellers. Today's installment spotlights Megan Wade Antieau of Skylight Books in Los Angeles, and is a veritable celebration of indie spirit and erudition. Read, and remember why one buys indie!
"... For me, part of why I’m in bookselling is actually about social change; I am interested in the creation and rebuilding of alternative, localized cultures, as well as more democratic, localized economic institutions. Independent bookstores are a pretty perfect intersection of those two things. I come from both a community organizing and an academic background, but feel that most non-profit models and university models are not helping us do the type of grassroots political and intellectual work that needs to happen for real change in this country. A bookstore, on the other hand, is a place to curate both ideas and experiences in the form of books and conversations for a really broad audience, to constantly prod and provoke people in ways they aren’t necessarily looking for. So seeing that type of slow change happen with our customers is part of what keeps me inspired, as well as those moments where we are clearly aiding the creation of an alternative artistic or political culture in face of the national, monopolistic culture; for instance, every time we have a customer come in who is there to talk as well as shop, who brings in their own poetry or comics for consignment at the same time as they’re picking up both a staff recommendation and something from another local author. ..."