Economic myopia.

This independent bookstore [Bookmark II] is a mainstay of street and intellectual life in the Halifax downtown core. At this writing there is no Chapters Indigo or Coles Books nearby, and the economic depression of the Maritimes means that there are not a lot of big box stores around anyway. (163-64)

From: Rak, Julie. “Genre in the Marketplace: the Scene of Bookselling in Canada.” From Codex to Hypertext. Ed. Anouk Lang. Boston: U Massachusetts Press, 2012. 159-73. Print.

I am compelled to make a few points:

  • There is a Coles 1.2 km from Bookmark II — less than 15 minutes on foot. It has been there for years.
  • Halifax itself is not “economically depressed.” It has a ~6% unemployment rate, for example — among the lowest in Canada.
  • Bookmark is downtown; that’s why there are no big box stores nearby.
  • Halifax is ringed by industrial parks — Bayer’s Lake, Burnside, Dartmouth Crossing — that are brimming with eager shoppers and the big box retailers they expect.
  • Bookmark soldiers on anyway.