Well, it’s one part bookstore and one part coffeeshop. A competing chain of B&N. I come here because, aside from Starbucks and convenient stores, it is the only place in Redstone where I can get frou-frou coffee after 5pm. Most of you know that, but I mention it in case you have forgotten.

In order to compensate for the Internet, I have my phone rigged up for tethering. Since I’ve started relying on WiFi at home, I have bandwidth capacity to spare on my plan.

Here’s an odd thing. The poster for this place here in Redstone has a mildly hipster-looking guy a tattoo and a wedding band. The same guy, I’m pretty sure the same picture, back home in the South has neither the tattoos nor the ring. They’ve been photoshopped on, or off. Either one got the poster before the other, or it has something to do with market research. That would be some pretty wicked market research: I would actually bet that people (whites, anyway) around here are more likely to have tattoos, and more likely to marry young.

I arrived in time for happy hour, which is buy-one-get-one-free. Frustratingly, they won’t let me buy one now and get the free one later. I guess they’re betting I say “never mind the second one” but the end result is that I get two, just in case. I may put the second one to waste.

Sitting here alone with two cups of coffee on the table makes me feel oddly lonely.

Next door to this place is a Rent-a-Center. The existence of Rent-a-Center brings out an unpatriotic side of me. It… should… not… exist. At least not in its current form. A more stunning indictment of American consumerism/capitalism does not come to mind.


Category: Downtown

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10 Responses to Observations From The Bookstore

  1. SFG says:

    Wicked market research? I could see that.

    I remember seeing the same Eileen Fisher ad in both Boston and NYC. The model was wearing eyeglasses in the Boston ad.

  2. Peter says:

    I would have figured that the wedding band would go over well in the South.

  3. trumwill says:

    Yeah, that’s the stereotype. The numbers would likely bear it out. The difference is that young marriages in the south seem to be concentrated in the rural areas, while out here they seem just as likely to happen in cities large enough to have one of these places.

  4. SFG says:

    My impression was that the South still has an aristocracy that feels some sense of inferiority vis-a-vis their cousins in the Northeast and likes to do well in things like education, but the Southwest just doesn’t care. True?

  5. Scarlet Knight says:

    The existence of Rent-a-Center brings out an unpatriotic side of me. It… should… not… exist.

    (rolls eyes) OK Ralph Nader, why not?

  6. trumwill says:

    SFG, unfortunately, the inferiority complex is more likely to manifest itself as “I don’t need none of there fancy edumication” than “Education is essential for adequate competition with our northern brethren.”

    That and “SEC! SEC! SEC!”

    I hate saying these things. I hate that there is really some truth to it. There are some good schools in the south, don’t get me wrong. Particularly in the former colonies. Also, Ole Miss, Texas, and Texas A&M. Florida (the state) was something of a late-comer, but they’re really revamping a lot of their schools.

    The south continues to generally lag the rest of the country in K-12 education spending as such. In some cases, though, they’re actually getting quite a bit of bang for their buck. In other cases… not so much.

  7. trumwill says:

    (rolls eyes) OK Ralph Nader, why not?

    The People versus the Powerful, man!! Oh wait, that was Gore.

    The entire business model is centered around the illusion of being being able to afford what they cannot afford and rarely need. I’ll cut them some slack on appliances, but if you need to rent-to-own a TV or sofa at a rate where it’s going to cost 2-3x what it would cost to buy it outright, you need to not be purchasing that. It feeds the ugly side of American consumerism. Nice things we can’t afford.

    (I know I was short on my explanation in the post. It was mostly because I was intending to write a more complete post in the future. We’ll see if that happens.)

  8. Scarlet Knight says:

    The entire business model [of Rent-a-Center]

    Yes, they prey upon the stupidity and/or bad credit of its customers. Ideally they wouldn’t exist. But since they do, they must be doing brisk business.

  9. Ω says:

    unfortunately, the inferiority complex is more likely to manifest itself as “I don’t need none of there fancy edumication” than “Education is essential for adequate competition with our northern brethren.”

    Is that reflective of the Southern aristocracy, trumwill? I grew up around a mixture of Southern aristocrat kids and kids from upper middle class Southern families (doctor, lawyer and successful family business owner parents). Most were neither geniuses nor particularly studious, but they were capable of performing moderately well in school and, at the time, did not ape redneck or ghetto behavior. A number of them headed off to decent colleges such as UVA, UNC, Duke and Vanderbilt after graduating from our private high school.

  10. trumwill says:

    Oh, no, the better educated (and wealthier) southerners don’t act that way (unless they’re running for office).

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