[editor’s note: I scanned this post and wondered what this had to do with bookselling, even considered asking Brian to send something else. Then I read it, soaked it in. This neat little article sums up why I became a bookseller in the first place – to get back to a real life, a relaxed life. Hope you enjoy it.]
by Brian Webster
DEMAND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TODAY!
Now why would I do this?
Because yesterday I had to go downtown Atlanta in the rush hour. A whole hour and fifteen minutes in
traffic! I fumed as I looked around at my fellow drivers. Few saw me and merely shrugged their
shoulder as if to say “that’s life”. A few glared at me as if somehow I might be at fault and I wondered
how they would be when they arrived. I pitied the poor minions they oversaw or their frustration at the
boss when he demanded “Where have you been?”
I’m glad I only had to do it once.
In my past I lived in England in a small town called Marlow, about forty miles outside of London.
My morning commute took a ten minute walk to the Railway Station, where I caught the local train to
the main line station. I carried a book to read and the Morning paper with the crossword puzzle. If I
finished the puzzle I had the book.
I changed trains for the express to London and ordered a coffee and took out whatever I had for the day.
Perhaps it was a Novel or perhaps another type of volume. Once in Town I walked for a couple of
minutes, to get to the stop where my bus that took me to the door of my office.. Usually between a
couple of minutes and seven minutes. There are tons of busses Of course I had other options. I could
chat to other passengers, since we all had nodding acquaintance, or even make up a four for bridge. I
could, if I had wanted to, bring out my laptop and work, but I preferred relaxing before the facing the
labor of the day.
Time taken? Forty five minutes.
Mood on arrival. Excellent and calm.
On the return trip I could go to the Bar car and imbibe a beer or two or continue with my book. It gave
me plenty of time to relax from my cares of the day and a nice gentle ten minute walk to finish my trip.
If I had a bad day the ride would have calmed me and I would not take the evils of the office onto her
So follow me, my bookelling friends. Lead the unlettered and benighted from the land of anger and
frustration to that of calm and relaxation.
Mayhap the books they buy to read on the trip could be yours!
I might add that we would be heroes to the Newspaper.
Their Circulations would soar when the public used Public Transportation.
No more breakfasts with a quick look at the TV news while they ate or answered answered questions
for the family.
A Leisurely walk with ones paper under ones arm, and 30 minutes or more idly reading the Paper, a
stressless trip and into the office!
Wc could be heroes!
W.H. Smith 1907, Crystal Palace Station