29 March 2007
Illustration by Aaron Renier. This illustration shows one shop on, what is probably, the coolest little block in Portland. If you ever pass through, go check it out, between 9th and 10th and Burnside and Oak in SW.
I don't know about you but it depresses the hell out of me to travel half way around the world to see the same chain stores, selling the same shit as the places I left behind. As in nature, a thriving culture requires diversity.
Maybe you get your books from Barnes and Noble or Borders or maybe you enjoy the convenience of Amazon. One of the many reasons I am thankful I live in Portland is, I don't have to shop at those places. I can get everything I need from locally owned independent businesses. I don't have to go to Starbucks for great coffee (Starbucks serve shitty burnt coffee anyway... just an opinion), I don't have to go to Tower for CDs and I can choose from a number of incredible book shops. Anyway, it isn't easy to run an locally owned independent business in this globalized monoculture. So, if you enjoy a bit of local colour, and value diverse and independent presses and publishing, you should be getting your books and mags from places like this. Reading Frenzy is in their thirteenth year as an 'Independent Press Emporium.' You can read the details here but hopefully this is not their last. A long time champion of the indie press and DIY publishers, shops like Reading Frenzy are unfortunately few and far between. Oh and they also stock Foulweather...