What You Are Confronted With in a Bookstore

by AllTimeJeff 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • AllTimeJeff

    Just sharing something that occurred to me this weekend.

    I love to go to bookstores. Barnes and Noble's is the one closest to where I live, although there are a couple of independent bookstores downtown that I like as well.

    I have to admit that at times, I feel overwhelmed when I look at all the books. Next to Rush Limbaugh's latest is Al Franken's latest. Liberals and Conservatives, Theists and Atheists all take pot shots at each other.

    Oh, I am sorry, that wasn't the fiction section, where I run to for cover.... ;)

    What it informs me of is this: In spite of some deeply held beliefs I have, most people in the world feel differently, as represented by these books and those who buy them. (interestingly, I doubt the political books in particular are purchased by anyone other then those that already agree... sort of a weird circle of life that makes Beck and Hannity millions for repeating themselves over and over again...)

    It isn't reasonable to argue my position beyond a certain point. Sure, I will resist anyone who says I can't believe what I want, and I will be happy to discuss my opinions with those of an open mind.

    But to try to convince (for example) a Christian theist that the earth wasn't created in 6 days, no thanks. I am only interested in keeping that out of public schools. Thats all. I can't help the ignorant from themselves.

    To convince a social conservative that the gay and lesbian population isn't a threat to society? Not interested. Now, don't try to deny them their rights and privileges that you grant to others. And don't fan the flames of persecution against them. But I know, prejudice will always be there. I have seen it. It routinely makes it's way on the NY Times bestseller list.

    It's a good reminder for me to pick my battles, and live and let live.

    I love books. :)

  • White Dove
    White Dove

    "Where is the New Age section located?"

  • miseryloveselders

    Good thread Jeff, lately I've found myself in the same boat thinking to myself, "why bother debating or arguing with someone anymore." Last year I was in Home Depot with my Dad, and this store is in an urban area. While perusing the store, this older White cat in full uniform with military medals and decorations comes our way. This is not that long after Obama got elected. He looks at us and states, "well I guess we'll have to get our prayer rugs." I'm thinking to myself, "this old racist idiot, I oughta." At the end of the day, why bother? He's 90 years old and stuck in his ways. He'll never change just like millions upon millions of people will never change. Sometimes that retard B-Rock puts threads on here that I feel an urge to respond to, but i catch myself and think, "he's a troll. Granted a troll with a Republican and Conservative label, but nonetheless a troll. Why bother responding to the prick?" That same line of reasoning can be used when dealing with the liberal crowd too. Or any crowd for that matter.

    As far as Barnes & Nobels is concerned, when you walk into the aisle with new releases, the majority of the books are catered to those with pre-existing ideaologies. NONE of them either, and I mean NONE of them are bringing anything new to the table. Its just the same ol' rhetoric. It's like the writing department at the WTS takes a break and tries writing for conservatives or liberals every now and then.

  • darthfader

    Jeff, I read your title and thought you got ambushed by JW's in the bookstore. I glad you only had to wrestle with the books.

  • JeffT

    I make a point of reading people I disagree with, if for no other reason than to make sure I still disagree with them. The Al Franken's and Michael Moore's are just as much in the money game (and some of their readers are just as blinkered) as the Beck's and Hannity's. The good thing about bookstores in a fee society is you can find all of it.

    I prefer the history section.

  • Terry

    My grandfather and grandmother were the ones who reared me.

    My grandfather read constantly. He wrote in the margins of the books and made lots of personal notes on a pad about what he read.

    He was a "seeker of truth". In fact, he was searching for the "true" religion!

    He developed an approach that intrigued me.

    He liked to read what he called "opposites".

    For example, when he wanted to study the Trinity he picked a "pro" and a "con" and read them one after the other.

    He said it was so that he would understand where the conflict was.

    Years later, I got interested in Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). There were about 40 books on just this one man! But, the opinions of him were all over the map. This seemed strange to me. So I picked two of the polar opposites. One by Anthony Nutting and one by Lowell Thomas. That started me down a road I've travelled ever since.

    When I read about a person I pick the most divergent ones first and list the "issues of conflict". Then, I'll continue reading while remaining alert to the dissonant issues as they arrive and depart.

    Want to know what, if anything, I have discovered?

    HOW THE ISSUE IS FRAMED makes all the difference. The information (or even facts) is secondary!

    A convincing writer defines what it is you must find important and diminishes what you should ignore or downplay.

    If you remove the adjectives from a polemicist's writing you pull their fangs.

    Modifiers are the daggers and poison.

    In the bookstore where I work I get quite a few people who ask for recommendations of what to buy. In the five years I've been doing this I have NEVER ONCE had a customer actually buy what I suggested!

    People tend to be comfortable reinforcing what they already think (or think they should think).

    Reading outside the comfort zone creates too much "thought" to deal with and no mechanism for resolution.

    Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

  • beksbks

    Jeff I used to work for one of the big guys. Before they darn near took over the market, I think your experience might have been different. That crap sells, just like the "self improvement" section. The mega store hive mind culture.

    I urge you to support the little guys whenever possible.

  • BurnTheShips

    I generally stay away from these polemics, whether or not I perceive them to be on my side of a debate. I read more important stuff when I can. I can look at my bookshelf as I write this, and I see everything from economics treatises, (auto) biographies of notable persons of the past from Franklin to Spinoza to Schumpeter, histories, science popularizations, many literature classics (was Shakespeare human?).....along with a a large representation of Bibles and their commentaries... Christian classics from Augustine to C.S Lewis and recently uncovered gnostic libraries...nestled along a shelf with writings by the AC Graylings and the Richard Dawkinses....I Ching and Tibetan book of the dead....and a Koran to top it off...to a shelf full of sci-fi novels, as well as a very large technical library covering everything from programming languages to operating systems, along with travel, auto repair, gardening, boating, shooting, fishing, and survival guides. I've got books that show me everything from how to shoe a horse to how to organize a national economy.


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thank you for this thread, Jeff.

    I wait to buy the pricey tomes for a dollar at Friends of the Library sales, or get-a-bag-o'-books-for-a-song at little book stores. My greatest recent find was My Several Worlds, 1954, by Pearl S. Buck. It is identical to my mother's now departed copy. Original price: $5.00. Mine: $1.00.

    I recently put up three more freestanding bookshelves to house boxed books and magazines years in the waiting for display and my perusal. What a joy!



  • sooner7nc

    The last time I was in a bookstore (this afternoon) I was confronted by the biggest fat guy I've seen in quite a while who ran me out of the martial arts corner of the sports section.

    By the way Terry, I didn't see you there. And no I'm not stalking you. My son's in Cooks with kidney problems and I wanted to get away for a while during the my wife sat with him. Sorry I missed you.

Share this