Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: YouTube

Poets of Protest


Yesterday, I published a new Tale in my Friday Story Bazaar series that deals with oppressive government, protest, and working toward unity.

It was the 56th Tale in the series and was prompted by the situation in Venezuela; but, could as well have arisen in response to many other situations on our Globe

Just before I published it, I noticed a video series on the Al Jazeera Network called Poets of Protest.

I immediately checked and found the series on YouTube

To get you interested in the series, here’s one of the videos:


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Are Physical Bookstores Really A Thing of The Past?


What a wonderful feeling—snuggling up to books before you buy them.

Are All The Bookstores Closing?

Image courtesy of wynand van niekerk ~ http://fgx.co.za/

It’s nothing like the remote-touching of the digital bookstore

Of course, in a physical store, you certainly don’t have tens or hundreds of reviews of the book.

But then, there’s no immediate interaction with a knowledgable human in the digital shop

As the e-book explosion reached a peak, many saw local outlets of chains close down.

Yet, it appears there are a growing number of independent bookstores.

More on that in a minute

First, I want to link to a poignant and lyrical account of one man’s reaction to the closing of a bookstore.

The article is in The New Yorker and is written by Adam GopnikWhen a Bookstore Closes, an Argument Ends

Let me excerpt a bit of it:

“I happened to find myself in Paris last week and went to look one last time at an almost seventy-year-old bookstore called La Hune…”

“I walked through La Hune one last time, sniffing the books and looking at the posters, and found myself far more distraught than I expected to be.”

“Anyway (the more impatient counter argument goes on), a bookstore is only a platform for the purchase of literature…Someday, someone will be writing a nostalgic account of one-click shopping on Amazon.”

“Yet the emotions that such losses stir can’t be dismissed quite so blithely…”

“The deeper, macro answer of why a closing bookstore is a loss to freedom, is that free-market societies…have built, alongside the responsive market with its unending appetite for change, smaller institutions where people can exchange ideas, share spaces, be in contact, feel at home, without any particular institutional endorsement from higher authorities.”

“Books are not just other luxury items to be shopped for. They are the levers of our consciousness. Every time a bookstore closes, an argument ends. That’s not good.”

I actually feel like I may have just performed a disservice to that article’s flow and form by excerpting—do try to go read the whole thing

So, while it may seen obvious that world culture will cause the demise of large chains and certain independent bookstores, does that mean, eventually, there will be no more places to snuggle before you buy?

Let’s look at an article from Electric Lit by Jeremy HawkinsBookstores Won’t Go The Way of Video Stores:

“The similarities between the two industries are obvious.”

“Both industries are staffed by zealous experts whose passion usually outweighs their paychecks…”

“But then, circa 2007, everything changed. Netflix streamed its first content. iTunes began providing full-length movies. YouTube went mainstream. And the first iPhone was released.

“In the blink of an eye, the entire landscape of the entertainment business transformed.”

“Amazon and eBooks are new technologies, so it’s obvious that bookstores will ultimately fail, right?”

“But then there are all those zeitgeist-frustrating facts, widely reported, like that membership in the American Booksellers Association, a trade organization of independent booksellers, has gone up in each of the last five years. Which means that more bookstores are opening than closing. Period.”

So, we have the sadness of certain bookstores closing and the joy of new ones opening

But, are the new ones opening near you?

And, is the closing of local shops more than just a change in where the bookstores are located?

Do we lose culture when certain venues close?

Will the new shops grow their own culture?

I’d love some of your ideas and feelings in the Comments

Let me close this post with a symbolic defense of the iconic bookstore—The 10 Best Independent Bookshops in the World – readers recommend.

Plus, this is Independent Bookshop Week, ( at least in the U.K. & Ireland :-)
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An Occasional Thing ~ Music for Writers :-)


Don’t know how often I’ll do this but, every so often, I’ll add a music video post.

Give me some of your favorites in the comments–performer(s) and title, or just the performer(s), or the uTube address. We’ll see if sharing some music can give us a little kick in the creativity :-)


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