Monday, November 28, 2011

Making Bookmarks from 414 Mill Avenue

It's Books and Bikes Week here on OSG.

It took some looking, but once I found the clear contact paper, I was in business. I had these old paper bookmarks from my favorite bookstore, and wanted to extend their useful life as bookmarks. I've done it before, sort of a poor, or lazy, man's lamination. It's also fast and easy, with good results, so it's an approach I like.

Detail from the finished bookmark. Is happy, no?

Other than needing bookmarks, though, why go to the trouble? Why not just use a handy slip of paper, or, perhaps, fold down the corner of the page? I'll explain, but first, here are two of the three I contact papered:

Formidable place marking devices

Allow me to explain the desire, the nostalgia, behind the 414 Mill Avenue bookmarks by showing the last one that I made:

One of these things is not like the other...

Here's the difference up close

I have many happy memories related to visits to 414 Mill Avenue, so the top two bookmarks are also like placeholders in my memory. Changing Hands closed the Mill Avenue location about the same time that the McClintock location opened. It's a fine bookstore, independent, and I enjoying stopping by there occasionally. But it's not a regular destination for me any more, and neither is downtown Tempe for that matter. For very different reasons: I just don't get down to S. McClintock Drive very often. I won't get into the downtown Tempe changes that lead me to avoid it most of the time any more, but I can say that back when I picked up the bookmarks above, it was a very pleasant, quirky, local place to stroll around in the evening, and it's not those things any more.

If Changing Hands was still at 414 Mill Avenue, I'd probably stop by every Saturday. My TCT would take me right past it, if I had reason to include the downtown area. Not that I need that many more books. Books are like an n+10 thing with me, sometimes anyway.  But the current occupant of the old bookstore location appears to be a chiropractor. Ride halfway across the Valley to get to a bookstore known as an openminded exploratorium for ideas, knowledge, reference, imagination, and stories, sure. A chiropractor? No. (City of Tempe, you traded a chiropractor for Changing Hands? Yikes. No, I know, market forces, Invisible Hand, rents, private property, downtown development, I get it. Yikes. To be fair, though, look what Phoenix got in place of Dushoff Books. Double yikes.) Old Town Books is still on the street, perhaps the TCT should swing by the neighborhood after all.

This week I thought I would write more about books and bikes, and see where that might lead. I need to re-up my library cards. I want to look for places to rest a while and crack open a good book, now that the weather has hit the WHY THE HECK ARE YOU NOT OUT RIDING phase of our yearly climate cycle. This weekend was seriously perfect cycling weather. I rode, I flew, I smiled till my cheeks hurt. I sought out new places to stop and read, but finding no new ones, will return to some oldies-but-goodies. 

Now I have some lami-papered bookmarks to take with me, to mark my place, and to remind me of a great bookstore location with a place held in memory of the many evenings I spent down in that basement browsing. Now gone. Well, time flies. Let's ride. Let's read.



  1. I appreciate your sentiments. There are too few simple, independent establishments these days. I always like destinations on my ride and like you, it seems they are hard to come by. Bookstores especially.

  2. a small stack sits next to my bed waiting for the end-of-the-rides-that-are-safe time when i am clamped into a trainer and wondering why? jra - your blog has opened up so big time!!! steven

  3. ebooks are just not the same...

  4. Ben, I'll quote myself from a comment I just made on "Quality, value, service, reliability, customer-focus, experience, accurate information, local economy: these are factors which ought to be important to consumers who don’t just behave like avid pacmen chomping up wucca dots at the lowest possible price. These are in consumers’ own personal interest to understand and cultivate. Where we are at currently, though, I see a lot of wucca dots being gobbled up avidly. Sigh."

    steven, OSG wrote the book on opening up.

    Steve A, when I read your comment, I imagined steven clamped to his trainer with sweat pouring onto an e-reader and it going zzzaaappp, zzzzztttt, pfffffft! and going black. I got to say, it was a happy image for me.


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