Well, I was wrong, and Hugh is right. Rats!
Hugh is right about people not buying art. Here is the story.
Here I am plowing extremely slowly through all my pending items that has assumed the form of a formidable pile that feels infinite to me. I am doing this because I have yet to adopt the the attitude of not giving a damn about it all. From Saturday on I will be offline for a week while participating in an Aikido week-long training. However while doing this I get distracted – or exercise multi-tasking skills – and realize that I better go into town and run a few urgent errands (groceries, mail, bank, train ticket office) and buy some tea-bags to take with before the silly shops close at 16:00 (that was a while ago).
Tea-bags! I have a whole economic theory developed around tea-bags, and I rarely do use them, unless of course I am going to be stuck in the boondocks and need my warm watery comfort somehow, anyhow. Restaurant tea bags I have found to be appalling, disillusionary, and the true source or all evil and marital discord. Well, perhaps not all of that, I despise them restaurant-tea-bags anyhow.
I got my tea bags from the super-duper-market in town and proceeded to walk down the street to a shop that sells porcelain painting items because my aunt asked me to get something there. This porcelain shop is sort of an artsy place and I have no connection with it other than my aunt’s requests. I had just turned my last cash Swiss Francs into Euros and I did not have enough cash with me to get what my aunt asked for since this place being itself a museum piece did not accept direct-debit cards. I walked down further the kramgasse to the next bus station, and on the way I walk by the Münsterkellerei shop, one of a few Hess enterprises and a place of choice to pick a good wine or spirit right here in Berne. In my spiritual quests, this is one place that I go to, and in walking by the shop it occurred to me that I did not have a single drop of Cognac in the house. I went in, walked directly to the Cognac shelves and waited for the shop keeper to be free and answer all my questions. I left the shop with a Jean Fillioux Cognac Vielle Grande Champagne. Unlike the artsy place, the Münsterkellerei did accept direct-debit cards.
Still, this is not the story, although, it might be part of it. While waiting my turn to be attended in the Münsterkellerei I glanced past the Cognac shelf onto the magazine rack, and saw a brochure that caught my eye, “Du öffnest ein Buch. Das Buch öffnet Dich.” (translation: You open a book. The book opens you.) printed in white on an orange cover. I picked said brochure up, and had to take it home with me. This brochure published by the Buchlobby Schweiz is full of great insight for anybody in both the book business and the blogging business. The only thing that surprised me was that indeed said lobby does have an internet site, but otherwise seem totally oblivious to the fact that the internet is indeed a publishing medium. In the brochure, much ink is spilled lamenting the sad state of affairs in which most publishers find themselves in these days. For those without knowledge of German, let me add that I am talking about books now, not Cognac or tea-bags. The Buchlobby is a swiss pro-book lobby sponsored by both PRO HELVETIA and ProLitteris. The brochure that I brought home with my bottle of Cognac can be downloaded in German, French or Italian from the lobby’s website.
I love books too, and indeed I am delighted to have found in said brochure a quote attributed to Jorge Luis Borges “I imagine that paradise is some sort of library.” Add a good Cognac, and I have Nirvana!
There is no moral to this story, but I think that the book lobby in Switzerland could use some out of the box thinking in how to cultivate the culture and pleasure of books. Now, the question to me is, are books art?