LAistalerts us to a piece in Wednesday's Huffington Post about struggling Venice bookstore Equator, written by a part-owner of the store. Max Wheeler wants to know why the government can pour millions of dollars into too-big-to-fail businesses while nobody's helping out the little literary guy:
Our store has a direct and dynamic relationship with our community and the people in it, something that cannot be replicated by the impersonal corporate behemoth. Ask Brentwood how they've benefited from the closing of Dutton's. To look at the news and listen to the promises you would think that businesses like ours were the ones that the government was eager to support, but almost all attempts at securing capital, whether through donation or loan has been met with either a frosty incredulity or derisive mirth.
Equator's problems are a miniature version of the issues facing the entire publishing industry: There are still people who buy books, but the audience isn't big enough to keep business moving at a healthy pace. In the arts, when capitalism fails, people historically turn to wealthy patrons—maybe what Equator needs isn't the investors they say they're "actively (aggressively / desperately) seeking," but benefactors. Any absurdly wealthy readers out there want to own a bookstore? You won't make any money, but you'll get to feel cultured.
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