“Bookstore operations are no longer socially viable,” was a statement that took be aback, because it is contrary to things that I've been thinking and saying.
This is likely to be a true statement, but if it is, can any such statement be so unequivocal in its substance? Are their exceptions to this perceived reality? If not, then I'm completely wrong? And I've been known to be, as anyone might guess.
Scientists have often observed that it is the point of perspective that gives us a different view of an object and often produces a different answer to a problem or proposition.
And more than one perspective when combined can just as often assist in resolving the dispute over what is real and take us onto the next step in our quest for reality.
When viewing a bookstore merely as an investment and the comparative gains one could make by placing one's money in this or in other enterprises, not many would likely want to invest in a book store, therefore, it would probably lose its basic profit-making business viability.
Then we could make the prediction that it no longer seems to be commercially viable.
However, if it could continue to operate without the need to make a profit but function primarily as a socially viable entity as do public libraries, museums, zoos and other such public sponsored enterprises, then a bookstore as described could still maintain viability.
It might even earn sufficient funds to practically pay its own way. With some added contribution it might more than break even.
Contributions have been made to our community development desires in the form of upgraded streetscaping, some of that in the area of the presently located bookstore. This was not only to keep the area viable but to give it identity and to make it more attractive to people on foot.
A similar case could be made for like contributions to be added to the bookstore's function.
Here the main reason would be to keep viable perhaps the only organic root that has the tendency to grow into a place of centrality. Here in Shorewood, it seems that we must embrace the possibility of developing the vitality of a public square.
Two different perspectives in this case, could bring about an entity that serves both social needs and commercial needs. It seems that here that we must view social viability over revenue producing potential in order to attract other seeds of development to our central place.
As a planning consultant, I would advise that this is the point and that the bookstore is the vital place where we start building our public square. As a citizen, an actively concerned citizen of Shorewood, I would do everything that I can to organize those who have that same perspective.
This perspective then, more than that of the mere moment leads us in the direction of saving our Village Bookstore and in considering it as one of the potential centralizing elements of our community.