The Sadness of Disappearing Used Book Stores

starlight Starlight Books in Newmarket, Ontario, has closed. Not big news to a lot of people. I was sad to see it gone this week when I drove by on my way to visit my sister in Newmarket. I used to live in the area. Starlight books was one of my favourite places for about 20 years. Now its gone.  The Facebook page is missing, not even a note to say good bye. The website is just a dead link.

Technology killed the little community book store.

Where will all the secondhand books go when there are few (or none left at all) places to trade books? The best thing about Starlight and the other secondhand bookstores is being able to bring in books I’ve read and find more from the same author, or take the risk of a new author.

Used book stores are opportunities for readers. Not just finding old books no longer in the big retail stores, but books in stock catered to the reader rather than the shopper. Also, when I exchange books I can select a few for free then. This was the best time to try someone new, a book I would have passed up as too expensive to take a chance on otherwise.starlightbooks

How much is the literary world losing as the used bookstores fade away? Likely more than many people realize.

It’s not a co-incidence that Starlight thrived and grew for at least 20 years (that much time since I’ve been shopping there) and all at once has now closed. I’ve talked to the local used bookstore here too. She says there is more stock coming in and less being bought (or traded out again). The paranormal genre which was selling so quickly is now slumbering too. That doesn’t help as they come in and stay, taking up space now.

Less space consuming are the ebooks, of course. The approaching paperless swarm of electronic books many people buy but only a few actually seem to read. It’s the buying that counts though, not the reading.

I do feel sad for the future of the paperback especially. Will all those printed words end up in landfills? No longer able to find new readers at the community book shops.

What will happen to writers too? There may be book buyers but are there still book readers?

The Canadian Flag: Red Ensign

In 1965, the national flag of Canada was changed from the Canadian Red Ensign to the current Maple Leaf flag without so much as a referendum to give people a voice to see if they wanted to change the current flag or not.

In 2014, while it might be too late to make the Canadian Red Ensign the national flag of Canada, it is never too late to right this historical wrong by making the Canadian Red Ensign an official flag of Canada similar in status to the current national flag and the Royal Union Flag.

The Canadian Red Ensign should be flown at all appropriate war memorials and cemeteries, Canada Day, and other places and events where Canada’s past should be honoured. The flag should be also be accorded the same reverence and respect as the national flag.

via – Bring Back the Red Ensign. (Facebook group)

Canadian Content Contributor on Squidoo

I put my name in to be the Canadian Contributor on Squidoo.

This is what I wrote:

I am a proud Canadian and I do like to write about, research, and teach the world about Canada and Canadians. I already publish a content feed on Scoop.it about Canadiana. Mainly bits of things I find online or happen to think of myself. Scoop.it gives me a place to stash links, share ideas and knowledge. I have over 3,000 views and 41 subscribers, not a lot but it does give me a nice start for promoting any Canadian posts I make as the Squidoo Contributor. Anyway, that’s just numbers. The fact is I was born in Toronto and have grown up all over Ontario. As a younger woman I travelled alone across Canada on the Greyhound bus, staying in youth hostels, meeting other young travelers/ backpackers. I do love it here and travelling (on a shoestring) was a great way to see more than the cleaned up tourist places. These days I photograph abandoned, derelict farm houses. Travelling around Ontario (day trips and some over nights) I see a lot of backroads, get coffee in local restaurants and I keep in touch with other explorers across Canada through the groups I founded and moderate on Flickr. I especially like Canadian music, literature and movies/ TV shows. Here we get so much media from the US it can be overwhelming. I make a point to support our own Canadian media by watching and listening to CBC, the oldest Canadian broadcaster and the most Canadian focused of them all. If you want to know about Canadian music, writers and others you can count on the CBC to have current news and old facts in their archives too. I studied Canadian Literature as a course in high school and college. I do read a lot of everything, not just Canadian, but I am aware of Canadian writers and did belong to an online group (until it folded). I had thought to start up another group but that does take a huge amount of time and energy so it on a project on the backburner. Meanwhile I continue to write my site for writers and it does have some focus on Canadian resources (just because that is what I find most useful for myself, as a Canadian freelance writer). I have probably written too much but I would very much enjoy covering the topic of Canada for Squidoo. Partly because as a Contributor I hope to be given some extra promotion on the site and then be read and heard. (So important to feel someone is actually reading and listening). Also, I would be happy to bring some niches of Canadian culture, history and art to light.

I’m sure I had paragraphs but they didn’t work with the form used. So it is a solid block of text, mainly here for my own amusement.

Photobombing

photobombedThe best description I read for photobombing was “any photo where the main subject is unintentionally upstaged”. Of course, it’s not always unintentional and those photos can be funny too. But, the funniest are those where someone didn’t look behind them before taking a self photo. Or, the person taking the photo (of someone else) didn’t pay attention to the background or just chose to take the photo in spite of someone behind the main subject of the photo.

Is a photo spoiled by a photo bomb or is it just all the more sincere and silly? Of course, that’s in the eye of the beholder and depends on the pride of the main subject. Can they see the humour or do they feel upset? I wouldn’t like someone being intentionally rude in the background but something kind of clever or silly I would at least try to get over and laugh about. It’s not easy to give up the limelight if you are upstaged, but it can be done.

Photobombing: How to Deal with It

Some PhotoBombing History

One of the first famous photobombers (if not the first) was Rollen Stewart, AKA “The Rainbow Man” who became a pop culture phenomenon in the late 70’s and early 80’s by wearing a rainbow-colored afro wig, while holding up signs reading “John 3:16” at sporting events nationwide.

From Know Your Meme: Photo Bombing

Later in life Rollen Stewart ended up going a bit too mad over the photobombing sort of behaviour. He is in prison for attacking prominent places and people and then keeping a hotel maid held hostage. A bit overboard and beyond the realm of college prank sort of stuff.

Another Summery Day

It's been awhile since I posted here. I haven't entirely forgotten LiveJournal but I have a few other sites I'm writing for, my own and a couple for a friend. Since the advent of social media, or since social media became something more than a chatty thing, there isn't enough time to fit everything and every site in. 

Today I got reading back to my oldest posts in LiveJournal. I'd forgotten some of the people and places along the way in the past years. I liked remembering some of them. Funny how the guys I was dating who made me feel so bad at the time but now I can really only remember one of them. The only one I actually spent time with in the real world, not just online. Shows how seriously I should have taken all that offline romance. Not seriously at all or in any way. 

I'd like to say I'll post here again but the fact is that I probably won't. I notice a bookmarklet up there, seems new (or new to me). I might add it to my browser and see if I can keep this old site from falling stale again. 

Happy Summer, 

Laura