We had our Monday 'Modern Dilemmas' gig, talking about an outrageously dishonest boss. Do we put up with her grandiosity, or stay smiling in silence?
You can listen here.
|Embiggen Books, in Melbourne|
But does the bricks-and-mortar bookshop have its own particular magic? A sample:
good bookshop employees are immeasurably important. Obviously some chain bookstores are staffed by sullen automatons, for whom books are no different to chewing gum, glossy magazines or a grandé latté hazelnut with sprinkles. But the best bookshops - usually independent - are often owned, managed and staffed by readers. They combine erudition, passion for the written word, and intense curiosity.
Just recently I visited, for the first time, Embiggen Books in Melbourne, with its elegant and ample collection of science literature. The staff member's attitude to this collection was noteworthy: an intimate custodianship. If I wanted a Darwin biography, it mattered to her which I chose, and why I chose it: which book was definitive, concise or humane. This is often how ideas spread and grow: not simply in books or journals, but in conversations that wed impressions to situations, advice to ambitions. Stacked shelves provide the occasion, but enthusiastic, intelligent and well-read staff make a bookshop an education.(Photo: Angela Wylie/Fairfax)