Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: From 6 feet away I’ve never felt closer

Do you know that feeling of intellectual and emotional vertigo which comes when you encounter in a book an aspect of your interior world that you have never before encountered outside your own mind? That powerful affirmation is the core of independent community bookselling, the meeting, sharing and interconnecting of our interior worlds through books.

The world we gradually emerge into upon the terminus of this crisis will be a different world than the familiar, ever-receding place we so recently inhabited. That makes it all the more important to carry with us things of great value during the difficult passage between the two worlds. Preeminent among such things of value is our physical community. There is no reason for temporary necessity to cause us to lose our adhesion to each other and thereby embrace the narrative of social isolation and digital translation of community as a permanent way of being, rather than a transitory necessity. One can't help reflect but that social isolation is the endgame online retailers have been training people to believe is the future for years. It would be a terrible mistake, however, to be passive about the nature of the post pandemic world. There is so much we cannot control that the things we are able to cleave to and carry across are all the more precious.

As we remain at least six feet away from you we have never felt closer to all of you. Though our shopping floor is closed we have never taken more satisfaction in making book recommendations than we have in these last 10 days across the doorway, over the phone and by email. We thank you for your presence, your engagement and your support with all our hearts and look forward to maintaining the ties that bind from a few short paces away in the days ahead.

Kenny Brechner
Belgrade
Owner of DDG Booksellers, Farmington

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6 Responses »

  1. Wow, Kenny. Beautifully said. Thank you.

  2. I agree with you, Kenny. I feel like it has been a constant and slow process towards becoming more isolated from each other. Now this. Thank you for your words. They are extremely well written and thought provoking. Let us do what we can to reconnect with our community and help and support each other.

  3. When this time of isolating and digital doing is past, I think we will want to shop locally and physically even more than we did before. I know I am not alone in feeling that my usual grocery shopping and browsing through downtown stores, before this, served as a big part of my social life as well as commerce. I find as much nourishment in conversation, smiles, and familiar faces of both fellow shoppers and those behind the registers as I do from what I buy.
    Oh, and my personal recommendation for a book is Richard Power's Pulitzer Prize winner "The Overstory". If not your thing, listen to Kenny's pick for you. He is uncannily good at picking the right book for the person in question.

  4. Beautifully written! Thank you.

  5. It worked...i called...you ordered my book..the one i couldn't get through inter-library loan..the one now on hold somewhere in the system...it came and you called me and placed it in a brown paper bag with your store's name on it on a table outside your store.. i came and picked up the book..i knocked on the window and we waved..i got into my car and drove home

    it was a precious moment as every moment is when i buy a book from your store

    thank you

  6. You, your staff, and the bookstore are gems in our community, thanks for helping keep me well-read and sane!

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