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Disappearance of New York Book Stores

As per a city count, there are less than 80 bookstores in the bustling New York City. Just like how payphones and typewriters became obsolete and disappeared slowly and gradually, book stores in New York are disappearing. Back in 1950, Manhattan had 386 bookstores which have reduced to 106 by the end of the year 2015. There used to be around 50 antiquarian bookstores between Union Square and Astor Place and now there is only one left.

One of the most popular and what you might consider the core of the city’s theatre community declared that they would be closing the book store since they could no longer afford the rent. Although many people tried to raise funds it still ended up closing down and the people who worked there are still in search of a place where they could find a cheaper location.

Basically, small book stores are now being squeezed out of the pictures as well since the truth is that Americans are not interested in reading so much anymore. The reading class of America is diminishing day by day according to sociologists. The main reason being excessive use of smart gadgets, also rather than reading in hard copy, e-books and tablets are the ones that are becoming the center of attention.

According to Caleb Crain, the society of today is turning back to the time before the advent of mass literacy. The rate at which the bookstores in New York are disappearing just shows the sad and grim truth of society.

Since book stores require more space for storage and also they work on a small margin, the increase in rent is causing more and more shutdowns of book stores. This is considered the main reason, at least in New York. Another major issue that is faced by people who run book stores is that the landlord besides doubling or tripling the rent also refuses to renew the lease once it ends. What can a store owner do in such a situation besides closing the store?

Also, landlords are forcing the tenants to move out of the buildings as an empty building would bring more profit when sold. To start new businesses or investing in something else this is the basic strategy that is being used.

According to Jeremiah Moss, the solution to these problems is the commercial rent control and vacancy tax on commercial spaces. Also another effective solution is to get a bill called the ‘Small Business Jobs Survival Act’. This bill allows tenants to renew their lease for 10 years straight, also this bill also gives tenants the right to negotiate with their landlords on rental issues. This is the ideal solution for small-time businesses and running a book store comes under this category. Although this bill can discourage landlords from renting the place to small time business owners in the first place.

It would really be heartrending if the works of so many authors would be published but there won’t be a place to buy them.

Facts of Weimar Germany

In the hyped and popular musical of 1972 that won an Oscar named the Carabet tells a glamorous tale of Weimer Germany of that time, however, the reality was quite different and unromantic. The reality was so much harsher, colder, and duller. Although no one would appreciate the truth as it is, if it is covered under makeup and suits, that is what viewers and readers would prefer.

A novel of the year 1929, the Berlin Alexanderplatz and Sally Bowles of 1937 were collected and compiled into the Berlin Stories, which eventually ended up becoming the foundation of Carabet. It tells the tale of the underworld of Berlin, it was described as a world full of life and color, while in reality, the criminal underworld is dull, dark and deathly. There is nothing there that might be of interest.

A novel by Ernst Haffner named the Blood Brothers told a different tale though, this novel showed the world a much clearer picture of that time rather than showing a made up painted and altered version. The Blood Brothers was translated by Michael Hofmann from the German language which increased the book’s popularity. The book shows a realistic picture of how a group of boys that were homeless survived the harshness of that time by sticking together, finding any comfort they could get anywhere, and most importantly they all worked as a unit, a family.

This book shows the harsher and more real aspects of that time, it portrays the time when a movement known as the ‘New Objectivity’ was in effect, which rejected any expressionism and romanticism. By using the boys as central characters he showed how exploitation took place and how the ones responsible were not only the actions of an individual but it was to be blamed on the whole German society. The book portrays two types of men, the ones with luxury and furs in their tailcoats and hats and the boys who just had their one ragged jacket. It shows the story of both sides.

Be it Berlin Alexanderplatz, Blood Brother, or The Sound and the Fury, all the writers portray the realistic and cruel picture of the time, the barbaric and dark events that took place. When you read it you can feel the dullness that the people of that time might have felt.

In the end, the authors try to show the characters trying to start up a new life by being honest and just, a life different from the one that they had to go through to survive, however, this world is not kind. The authors showed that the crimes they committed dragged them down, and came back to haunt them. They gave off the message that it is complete and utter stupidity to blame those who want to survive.

The book was banned and then burned by the Nazis within a year after it was published, the author was summoned and then he was never seen again.

Say Nothing: A Brief Review

The book “Say Nothing” was written by Patrick Radden Keefe, the title has relevance shown in the first chapter of the book. The book is based on a true story, on the events that took place in Northern Ireland. In the book, a character named Jean McConville was abducted from her home and no one raised their voice or said anything at all. Although the book was not completely focused on the kidnapping and murder of McConville, it was just the center of any distressing events. Basically, it shows a picture of the conflicts that lead to bloodshed to sects, the conflict was between Catholics and Protestants. These events took place from the late 1960s to 1988.

The books show all sides of the story by digging deep into the lives of many people. It also shows the many complexities that people faced due to this conflict. The author put up the people on the spotlight who others might think a thousand times before doing so. In his novel, he shed light on characters such as Gerry Adams and the British Chief Army Intelligence Officer Frank Kitson, who was given the title of Butcher of Belfast.

The readers and walk through the real-life events, where they can literally see the corridors of the prison of Long Kesh, where there were hunger strikes and people died. He also takes the readers to the Boston College Library where the book that held clues to what might happen to McConville were archived. He also portrays the Irish culture which is rich in martyrdom and repression.

The main haunting of the book is the disappearance of McConville in front of the whole neighborhood who said nothing, although the main focus of the book is on two females, Dolours and Marian Price. Both were sisters and belonged to a militant IRA family. The girls grew up listening to whatever their father told them, and according to the author they were given lectures on how to mix up makeshift explosives. This eventually leads to them joining the Provisional IRA where they were involved in countless acts such as robbing banks, planting explosives, leading people who were suspected of being informants to their deaths. They both made a reputation for themselves as fearless and were known as femme fatale.

The book shows how the actions and decisions that were made as teenagers end up having deathly consequences. Basically, it is telling the readers whatever goes around comes back around to haunt you. The story is an agonizing one that tells how harsh reality is.

The book consists of a variety of different aspects, it includes history, biography, and also politics. Although the story was not mainly focused on the abduction of McConville, it was centered around it at the same time. He showed the world how a mother of 10 young children was abducted, disappeared, and murdered and in the end, the mystery was never solved.