Thursday, August 23, 2007

Skylight Books, Los Angeles, 8/24/2007

I decide to branch out further in my quest for common sense in science shelving by visiting Skylight Books in Los Feliz, LA. Before entering the store I notice a cat curled up sleeping in the window. This turned out to be a good omen. Cats = Good. Independent bookstores = Good. Cats + Independent bookstores = Fan-bloody-tastic.

This was a small bookstore, so I wasn't surprised to find a small science section. However, not only did I not find a single Intelligent Design nonscience book, but it was packed with great books from Darwin to Gould, Dawkins to Mayr - along with some interesting-looking physics books. The only way you'd know creationism existed in this science section was an Ayala's Darwin's Gift: to Science and Religion.

So, I liked the cosy bookstore cat. I liked the intelligently-designed science section. I especially liked the organization of the store, placing "Nature/Science" next to "Lesbian". This resulted in a little lesbian-creep into science, with a compilation called The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading over the divider into "Science", next to Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee.

Not forgetting my mission to aid bookstores correctly shelve science, I helpfully pop this little lesbian gem into it's proper place.

Moving to the religion section, I saw another fine example of category-clashing, with "Erotica" slap-next to the "Religion/Mythology" shelves.

"Religion/Mythology" is equally well-stocked. The top two shelves are taken up with fairy tales (no comment), and all the ancient holy texts are present, as well as some fascinating tomes dealing with theology and mythology.

Only one ID book is present. The Case for Christ by our familiar friend Lee Strobel.

Since Strobel doesn't even claim to be science, and he always is present in "Religion", I have come to be fond of his non-pseudoscientific books. They are a reminder there is some sanity in this world.

Thoroughly pleased with Skylight books, I make a purchase and head up the road to a coffee shop with free wi-fi to document this successful mission. If you're in LA and want to buy a book - make a beeline to 1818 N. Vermont Avenue and support a great independent bookstore.

~ Ste


ordinarygirl said...

Moving to the religion section, I saw another fine example of category-clashing, with "Erotica" slap-next to the "Religion/Mythology" shelves.

This made me laugh.

I've been paying closer attention to categories at bookstores I rarely looked at before. The only problem is that the religion section in one of my local bookstores is so camped out that I can barely squeeze in sometimes. If erotica was right next to religion I wonder if it would drive people away or make it more crowded. :)

The Factician said...

I thought you might be interested that you have an arch-nemesis. Recently I perused the science section of a Barnes & Noble, and I picked up a copy of Dawins' God Delusion. What did I find inside? A little slip of paper begging me to save my soul and repent immediately. It came complete with instructions, phone numbers and a few bible verses. I meant to keep it and scan it, but I confess that I lost it.

Thought you might be interested. Keep up the good work!

Yvette said...

For years at a bookstore I work at nobody noticed the lack of tact in placing sex self-help/how-tos next to sexual abuse recovery.