9
Aug 04

Buy American

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Buy American — one of the more amusing things about my London visits is that I seem to inevitably pick up something there that is in fact from here. And theoretically I’m paying more for it. It makes sense that there would in fact be plenty of American-made items — I’m thinking of music and books and the like, I’m sure there are other equivalents — in London, just as you can reverse the situation and find plenty of UK things in Los Angeles or New York, it’s the marketplace and the nature of the products under discussion.

Usually what I’m finding, though, is something I didn’t think was available anywhere else, or was in fact only a UK release to begin with. And part of it is the setting of the place I’m at — thus, when I found myself a copy (American) of a Great Pop Things collection, it was at this one store that is not merely a music store but a music book store. Plenty of transcriptions and all that but also just a general collection of all those biographies and critical essay collections and fandom celebrations and more which have surfaced in print over the years.

A lot of the material in those books has been superseded by the web, I’d think — those endless chronologies of who performed what when, half the material that Omnibus Press put out — and so there was plenty of used books in this store, and when I went in there I got a happy charge, I admit. ‘Only in London would there be a store like this, surely!’ Which is probably not true at all, but I still felt like it could be the case — and it was the place where I purchased Dave Cavanagh’s brilliant book on Creation, in hardback for a used price no less, so I will always salute it.

But then there was the Great Pop Things book, happily spotted and immediately bought — and I’m pretty sure it was used — and only after I was looking at it later did I realize that I probably could have ordered it through the local Barnes and Noble around here, or Amazon or whatever. So I suppose that became an inadvertant souvenir of a London experience more than anything else. I didn’t mind, though, it’s a great book!

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