Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why walking into our bookstore is more dangerous than virtually doing so.

A good Loome friend recently passed along this quote by Chesterton about the danger of bookshops:

It is perfectly obvious that the most respectable book-shop in the world must contain an enormous proportion of rubbish, negative or positive; of reading that is a waste of time when it is not a weakening of character; trashy rediscoveries of divine truth; cracked and crabbed continuations of hole-and-corner controversies; erotic and egotistical rants by forgotten imitators of Byron and Swinburne; blatant social panaceas and solutions of the problems of World Peace and the Gold Standard; stupid biographies of respectable people and silly autobiographies of disrespectable people. All this gas and poison is stored up on a bookshelf and in a book-shop; but this only makes the bookshop as dangerous as all the other shops. [GKC ILN Nov 24 1928 CW34:634]

I would rather like to think of our bookstore as a dangerous place to visit and browse (however I think it might be the danger of a sort different from what Chesterton means).  There aren't all that many dangerous places for respectable people to visit anymore (excepting the library and a church with the Blessed Sacrament) and some danger in one's life helps to remind him of being alive.

What do our readers think is particularly dangerous about Loome Theological Booksellers in person?

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  1. I'm sorry to say I have never visited in person, but I hope to someday. However, in light of some of your recent Facebook posts, I think hypothermia is a real danger possibility.

  2. I've been there. The danger lies in finding too many books you want, trying to balance them as you continue to browse shelves; and from your brain exploding from being overwhelmed at the pages and pages you may never have time to read.
    There is also the danger of needing to stay so long, you find you need the restroom. However, I did discover there are facilities for that, so then the danger was that I could stay even longer.
    A further danger is in discovering something you never intended to discover, and the having to use credit because you simply HAD to have that previously unknown book.
    Yes, Chesterton is right. The bookshop holds many dangers. Loome especially.

  3. My wife and I visited over the Christmas holiday! We were on a "pilgrimage," of sorts...

    We absolutely enjoyed our visit-- with one caveat. We determined that, for future pilgrimages, we would make the journey in the summertime-- the main portion of the bookstore is awfully cold in the winter!

    We also decided that, should a job ever open up at the store, we would feel right at home living in Lake Elmo... :)

  4. What a nice thing, to find your website. Having served in the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, living in St. Paul, I still get the news via their emails. They are sponsoring a Clergy Day at Loome's in May; how I wish I could be there!
    Loome's was a favorite place, where I spent far too much time and not a little amount of money! But it was well worth it. I remember well, selling some books there and appreciating the offer to dispose of the ones that didn't sell. It's hard to part with books!
    Thanks for the joy of reconnecting!
    Fr. Phillip Ayers, Portland, OR