Monday, November 7, 2011

Toast & Jam: Celebrating 35 Years at Food For Thought Books!

This upcoming Saturday! Be there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TRGGR Radio Fridays at FFT!

Come listen to the ever-awesome TRGGR Radio in the company of friends and neighbors as we keep the bookstore open 'til 8:00pm on Fridays in November!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not Under My Roof: a reading & booksigning with Amy Schalet

Join us for a reading & discussion of Amy Schalet's new book Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex on November 14th at 7:00pm

For American parents, teenage sex is something to be feared and forbidden, and sex is often a source of family conflict. In the Netherlands, where teenage pregnancies are far less frequent than in the United States, parents aim above all for family cohesiveness, often permitting young couples to sleep together and providing them with contraceptives. Probing our child-rearing for what it tells us about our culture, Not Under My Roof offers an unprecedented, intimate account of the different ways that girls and boys in both countries negotiate sex, love, and growing up.

Not Under My Roof features personal stories of parents and teens, a sociologically and historically-informed analysis, and a roadmap for guiding American social policy on adolescent sexual health. Accessible to a general readership, it is especially relevant for parents and those who work in the areas of adolescent development, education, and health care.

Amy Schalet is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a specialist on adolescent sexuality and culture in comparative perspective.

For more information:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Consensus - Direct Democracy @ Occupy Wall Street

This is how we roll... collectivity & consensus for the win!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives - Beta Test

Did you know that October is National Cooperative month? What is a cooperative, anyway?

Join us to learn about cooperatives, and play Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives! Drop by and take a peek, stick around and play with your friends.

Co-opoly is a creative and exciting educational game designed for the growing cooperative movement. Co-opoly is more than just a board game. It is an innovative way for aspiring and existing cooperators, as well as other interested parties, to learn about co-ops and to practice cooperation.

People who have played the game call it “fun and engaging” as well as “a great teaching tool about how to build and sustain” cooperatives.

Learn more here:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Christian Parenti: Tropic of Chaos

We are excited to invite you to a reading and discussion with noted author and journalist Christian Parenti on his new book Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence on November 11, 2011 at 7:00pm.

From Africa to Latin America to Asia to North America, how is climate change fueling conflict? What impacts do rising sea levels, intensifying droughts, increasing floods, and melting glaciers have on access to water and arable land and how will these impacts shape future social dynamics and geopolitics?

As both a scholar and investigative journalist, Parenti will discuss the connection between climate change and increased social and political conflict. Join us as we discuss why climate change is fundamentally a political problem that requires political solutions in order to prevent climate-change driven violence and increased global disparity.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

1493: A Reading & Talk with Charles Mann

Join us for a reading and discussion with local author Charles Mann about his new book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created this upcoming Thursday, October 27th at 7:00pm.

Mann's new book picks up where his previous work, 1491—the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas— left off and presents a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs: what has come to be known as the Columbian Exchange.

As 1493 shows, the Columbian Exchange underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest research by ecologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City—where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted—the center of the world. In such encounters, he uncovers the germ of today’s fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture wars.

"A fascinating survey... A lucid historical panorama that’s studded with entertaining studies of Chinese pirate fleets, courtly tobacco rituals, and the bloody feud between Jamestown colonists and the Indians who fed and fought them, to name a few. Brilliantly assembling colorful details into big-picture insights, Mann’s fresh challenge to Eurocentric histories puts interdependence at the origin of modernity." --Starred review, Publishers Weekly

This event is co-sponsored by Food For Thought Books Collective and The Environmental Studies Program of Amherst College.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday VAWC!

Happy Birthday, Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives! We love you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Volunteer at Food For Thought Books!

Volunteering is a fun and easy way to support Food For Thought Books. It helps keep our costs down, frees up time for staff to work on specific tasks, and builds community around the store.

Volunteers also get a sweet discount on everything in the store (bibliophiles, take note!).

Click here for more details!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Justin Vivian Bond's Tango - A Book Review

A good review of Bond's upcoming memoir: Tango

Problematic coverage of the book aside, I loved Tango. Kate Bornstein said it best when she wrote, “…Tango is like listening to your favorite eccentric cousin or auntie tell you hair-​raising tales…Justin Vivian spins a one-​of-​a-​kind story that you won’t be able to put down.” She nailed it on both accounts: the book feels incredibly conversational, as though it were not a book at all, but a collection of Bond’s famously biting asides between songs at a cabaret. Secondly, I truly could not put the book down. I lied to myself, saying I would just read until I was tired, and then tucked myself into bed some hours later, book complete, in the wee hours of the morning.

Tango is largely the story of Bond’s relationship with v’s childhood lover, who was also v’s greatest tormentor in school. This intersects with the various ways in which the adults in v’s life tried, through various means and with varied success, to regulate v’s clearly emerging queer sexuality and gender. The moments range from the utterly traumatic to the touching to laugh out loud. Justin’s mother forbade v from wearing her frosted pink lipstick to school, v’s pop pop bought v Barbie coloring books without question or issue, and v’s Cub Scout troupe found v the odd boy out who picked Sandy Duncan as the figure in history that v would most like to be.


Also, thank you, J. Rudy for calling out the NYT's transphobic b.s. - so tiresome and so unwarranted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baby's Got Book

You know it's true...

Thanks, Rhymes With Orange & Lily Library! That was a good chuckle :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Call out to Local Artists!

A call out to local artists: our right-side window is available to display your work! Click here to submit a proposal to our artists in the window series!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

David Graeber Interview - Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Excellent interview with anarchist anthropologist David Graeber about his new book Debt: The First 5,000 Years

What’s been happening since Nixon went off the gold standard in 1971 has just been another turn of the wheel – though of course it never happens the same way twice. However, in one sense, I think we’ve been going about things backwards. In the past, periods dominated by virtual credit money have also been periods where there have been social protections for debtors. Once you recognize that money is just a social construct, a credit, an IOU, then first of all what is to stop people from generating it endlessly? And how do you prevent the poor from falling into debt traps and becoming effectively enslaved to the rich? That’s why you had Mesopotamian clean slates, Biblical Jubilees, Medieval laws against usury in both Christianity and Islam and so on and so forth.

Since antiquity the worst-case scenario that everyone felt would lead to total social breakdown was a major debt crisis; ordinary people would become so indebted to the top one or two percent of the population that they would start selling family members into slavery, or eventually, even themselves.

Well, what happened this time around? Instead of creating some sort of overarching institution to protect debtors, they create these grandiose, world-scale institutions like the IMF or S&P to protect creditors. They essentially declare (in defiance of all traditional economic logic) that no debtor should ever be allowed to default. Needless to say the result is catastrophic. We are experiencing something that to me, at least, looks exactly like what the ancients were most afraid of: a population of debtors skating at the edge of disaster.

And, I might add, if Aristotle were around today, I very much doubt he would think that the distinction between renting yourself or members of your family out to work and selling yourself or members of your family to work was more than a legal nicety. He’d probably conclude that most Americans were, for all intents and purposes, slaves.

read more....

Bonus Graeber essay: Are You An Anarchist? The Answer May Suprise You! :)

Welcome Back Students!

Welcome back students! Best of luck in this upcoming semester - remember: Food For Thought Books is here for you whether it's finding a book, helping you with a project, or just a comfy couch on a rainy day.

Come by & visit us soon - we've missed you!

Friday, August 12, 2011


read more: Bookfessions

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives

Check out this new cooperative board game being developed by one of our awesome volunteers, Brian Van Slyke!

Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives is a creative and exciting educational game about the growing co-op movement. In order to survive as individuals and to
strive for the success of their cooperative, players make tough choices while putting their teamwork abilities to the test. This is a game of skill and solidarity, where everyone wins – or everybody loses.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Like A Girl at Food For Thought Books

Thank you, Food for Thought Books Collective, for letting us film at your bookstore!

Thank you Blurred Divide! It was fun having you here!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Charles Mann's new book: 1493

Check out this article in the Amherst Bulletin about local author Charles Mann's upcoming book: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.
A consistent theme throughout Mann's work is the idea that the trade of animals and plants between the Eastern and Western hemispheres led to a series of dramatic biological changes that forged a new world, both ecologically and economically.

These changes also gave Europeans an advantage over the native peoples they encountered in places like the Americas, Mann contends. The introduction of European crops and animals made the Americas more comfortable to Europeans colonists while also making it harder for indigenous people to continue their traditional ways of life, he said.

That idea plays a central role in "1493." He writes that Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi managed to accomplish something that Columbus tried but failed to do - establish overseas trade with China. In 1571 Legazpi founded Manila in the Philipines and from there traded silver mined by African slaves in South America for Chinese silk and porcelain.

The event is notable because it marks the first time that the world economy was completely intertwined, Mann said. But it also had a larger, unintended effect.

In the 1590s a Chinese merchant, Chen Zhenlong, brought sweet potatoes, introduced to the Philippines by the Spanish, to China. Until that point Chinese agriculture had been rice-intensive and centered around the deltas of the Yangtze and Huang He rivers. The vast majority of the country was dry and unsuitable for such crops, Mann said.

But the sweet potato changed that. The tuber thrived along dry hillsides. Its arrival coincided with the introduction of maize to China, which entered the country through Portuguese traders at Macao. The crop proved similarly suited to China's dry climate.

"Suddenly, not only are you growing stuff in the areas where you couldn't grow anything before, but it's fantastically productive," Mann said. "It was always a populous place, but this was the moment when China became China, the watchword for huge numbers of people. And it had a whole lot to do with the introduction of the sweet potato and maize."

Yet the Chinese made a series of beginners' mistakes in planting the new crops, Mann said. They planted them vertically along the hillsides, instead of horizontally. They deforested much of the land to make way for new crops. The result was erosion and massive flooding. Mann said he talked to one researcher who likened the situation to "one Katrina a month for 20 years."

The flooding helped weaken the Qing Dynasty, Mann said, opening the door for the British to essentially walk into the country unopposed before the dynasty's ultimate fall in 1911.

"That's what I mean when you talk about the biological consequences outstripping the financial consequences. It was important for China to have the silver trade," Mann said. "But the sweet potato and maize had far greater consequences." --read more
We'll be hosting a reading for 1493 with Charles Mann this upcoming October - Thursday, the 27th. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Michelle Tea at Food For Thought Books

Michelle Tea browsing at Food For Thought Books - we love this photo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

James Scott on The Art of Not Being Governed

Excellent talk by the author of the amazing and provocative The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia.

We need more historians willing to re-vision the tired tropes of royal agency and the magic of the state. History doesn't need to follow the centralized lines of formal political organization and, as Scott shows, it misses so much when it does.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book Porn

For those of you who not only love books for what they contain, but books themselves as objects of beauty and artistic expression, please check out the extraordinary online collection: Publishers Bindings, 1815-1930: The Art of Books.

Everything from slave narratives to suffragists, art deco to rococo revival. A feast of beautiful book design!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

FFT Volunteers in the News

Check it out! Noalanii Karakashian (pictured) & Nathara Bailey, two valiant volunteers here at Food For Thought Books, are on the front page of the Amherst Bulletin!

Race's role at Amherst Regional: How the high school is tackling a touchy subject.

... Some of the students, like senior Nathara Bailey, thought teachers' expectations for students like them would rise if they were trained in dealing with a racially diverse student body. Peyton suggested that administrators and School Committee members come and talk to their group.

"We can try to make it better and brainstorm tactics that can make the high school a better place," he said

For senior Noalanii Karakashian, a key issue is the small number of nonwhite teachers, which gives her few role models to look up to. "I don't see people who look like me," she said, adding that she doesn't feel comfortable being the only nonwhite person in a class.... read more

Monday, May 23, 2011

Farewell Black Sheep Books!

Very sad news: Black Sheep Books, a wonderful collectively-run radical bookstore and community space up in Montpelier, VT is closing up shop.

On Saturday, May 28th, we will be closing our beloved bookstore. We have had a tremendous six and one-half years and we thank you for your support and involvement in this project. The fact that a radical, anti-profit organization like this has thrived this long is inspiring, especially these last 2 and one-half years in the heart of downtown Montpelier. We thank all the volunteers, friends, supporters, and collective members — past and present — for helping to create radical space in a small town. ... read more

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Night of Jazz with The Gary Smulyan Trio!

Join us for a jazz concert with The Gary Smulyan Trio featuring Dave Arenius and Bob Weiner!

Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan is critically acclaimed as one of the major voices on the baritone saxophone today. Mr. Smulyan has recorded and performed worldwide with Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Tom Harrell. Cedar Walton, George Coleman, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Tommy Flanagan, Chick Corea, Diana Ross, Clark Terry, Kenny Wheeler, Charles McPherson, James Moody and Slide Hampton, among others.

More info on our main website: Gary Smulyan Trio Jazz Concert

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Not many know the radical origins of this holiday. It was originally begun by women after the Civil War as a protest against the carnage that war wrought, all the husbands, fathers, sons & brothers taken.

A good example of its original character comes from Julia Ward Howe's "Mother's Day Proclamation, 1870", written in 1870. Check it out: it has lost none of its power & poignancy.

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress,
not of Caesar,
but of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
For more on the origins & history of Mother's Day, check out Fiona Tinwei Lam's Mother's Day's Radical Roots.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Happy May Day!

Today is May Day, a.k.a. International Workers Day! Come join us today at 4:30pm to celebrate this best of all holidays!

For more information on the history & significance of May Day, check out Peter Linebaugh's great essay The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May Day.

More resources & links can also be found here. Happy May Day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our New Window

So, the Homophobic Tapist returned, with even more venom & bile than before. So, we decided to make good on our earlier promise. Voila! Our new window! Beautiful, no?

When others try to silence and shame the people you love and care about, the only proper response is to make your support even more vocal and visible.

Be sure to visit and support the Pride & Color blog, the folks who made these wonderful posters -

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Loca author Susan Stinson wins literary award!

Huzzah! Local author Susan Stinson wins the "Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize" from Lambda Literary Foundation!

Alex Sanchez and Susan Stinson Awarded Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize
This week the Lambda Literary Foundation announced the two recipients of the Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize – the largest monetary prize awarded exclusively to a self-identified LGBT writer. This year the prize recognizes young adult novelist, Alex Sanchez (Rainbow Boys), and novelist, Susan Stinson (Venus of Chalk). more
Congratulations, Susan! You rock!

Be sure to check out the novel that won her this award: Venus of Chalk

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Night of Liberation!

A Benefit Concert for the Prison Birth Project
CHARLES NEVILLE & ROGER SALLOOM April 23rd 7-9:15pm Northampton High School Auditorium

Also Performing: V Haddad, Sugati & Chris Phillips, Rae & Devin Griffiths, Kennethia & Nancy Tolson, Ellen Clegg, Ann Sirignano, Fabiola Guiteau, Ricardo Frota, WT Funk

"This Spring we are presenting 'Liberation!' a multi-cultural performance arts concert to benefit The Prison Birth Project. The show will explore the subject of 'Liberation' through the music, dance, and poetry of an eclectic mix of world-class local artists. The performance will include spoken word poetry written by mothers currently or formerly incarcerated."

Tickets: $12-20 sliding scale. Children under 5 = free.

For more info, check out The Prison Birth Project.

Greg Mortenson = Tool

well, what a surprise... (not really).

Investigation throws "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson's charity work into doubt

An investigation by "60 Minutes" to be broadcast this weekend will cite multiple sources that contend some of the most inspiring stories in Greg Mortenson's books "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones into Schools" are not true.

Significantly, Mortenson's origin story -- of being saved by a remote village in Afghanistan and promising to build a school for them -- appears to be a fabrication. ...

And according to "60 Minutes," Mortenson's charity, the Central Asia Institute, has spent more money in the the U.S. talking about education in Pakistan and Afghanistan than actually building and supporting schools there. The television program talks to charity waltchdog group that has concerns about the financial management of the group.

read more

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ladyfest at Flywheel!

Don't miss Ladyfest Easthampton! A three day music and arts festival with hands-on workshops, vendors, and performances in Easthampton, Massachusetts put on by the ever-awesome Flywheel Arts Collective. diy/underground ladies unite!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

R.I.P. Manning Marable

Manning Marable, noted professor of history and African-American studies, passed away yesterday, April 1st, 2011. He had just completed his biography of Malcolm X, called Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, a book he had been working on for more than 15 years.

Farewell, Mr. Marable. You shall be missed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences

Join us for a reading & discussion this upcoming Thursday, March 31st at 6:30pm with Rebecca Jordan-Young, author of the recent book: Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences.

In this compelling book, Rebecca Jordan-Young takes on the evidence that sex differences are hardwired into the brain. Analyzing virtually all published research that supports the claims of “human brain organization theory,” Jordan-Young reveals how often these studies fail the standards of science. Even if careful researchers point out the limits of their own studies, other researchers and journalists can easily ignore them because brain organization theory just sounds so right. But if a series of methodological weaknesses, questionable assumptions, inconsistent definitions, and enormous gaps between ambiguous findings and grand conclusions have accumulated through the years, then science isn’t scientific at all.

Elegantly written, this book argues passionately that the analysis of gender differences deserves far more rigorous, biologically sophisticated science. “The evidence for hormonal sex differentiation of the human brain better resembles a hodge-podge pile than a solid structure…Once we have cleared the rubble, we can begin to build newer, more scientific stories about human development.”

Rebecca M. Jordan-Young is a sociomedical scientist and an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University.

This event is co-sponosred by the Department of Sociology at University of Massachusetts.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update: Malalai Joya is coming!

After being denied a visa, and the ensuing uproar over this denial, Malalai Joya was finally granted a visa and will be coming to Umass & Smith, at the times and locations previously scheduled. It has been a struggle to bring her these several thousand miles from Afghanistan - be sure to spread the word and be there to hear her!

We'll be selling her recent book, A Woman Among Warlords, for her Umass engagement. We hope to see you there!

Malalai Joya: On ending the Occupation of Afghanistan
Monday, March 28th at 4:00pm
University of Massachusetts, Thompson Hall 106

Friday, March 18, 2011

Malalai Joya denied visa by pathetically hypocritical US officials

Malalai Joya, author of A Woman Among Warlords, was going to be coming to the Pioneer Valley as part of a national book tour. Unfortunately, the United States government has seen fit to deny her travel visa based upon the fact that she's "unemployed" and "lives underground".

We don't know about you, but we think it's pretty difficult to hold down a job & fixed address when you've been the subject of multiple assassination attempts.

US government denies entry visa to Afghan women’s rights activist and author Malalai Joya
The United States has denied a travel visa to Malalai Joya, an acclaimed women’s rights activist and former member of Afghanistan’s parliament. Ms. Joya, who was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, was set to begin a three-week US tour to promote an updated edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Joya’s publisher at Scribner, Alexis Gargagliano, said, “We had the privilege to publish Ms. Joya, and her earlier 2009 book tour met with wide acclaim. The right of authors to travel and promote their work is central to freedom of expression and the full exchange of ideas.” Joya’s memoir has been translated into over a dozen languages, and she has toured widely including Australia, the UK, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands in support of the book over the past two years.

Colleagues of Ms. Joya’s report that when she presented herself as scheduled at the U.S. embassy, she was told she was being denied because she was “unemployed” and “lives underground.” Then 27, Joya was the youngest woman elected to Afghanistan’s parliament in 2005. Because of her harsh criticism of warlords and fundamentalists in Afghanistan, she has been the target of at least five assassination attempts. “The reason Joya lives underground is because she faces the constant threat of death for having had the courage to speak up for women’s rights – it’s obscene that the U.S. government would deny her entry,” said Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S. based organization that has hosted Joya for speaking tours in the past and is a sponsor of this year’s national tour. ... read more

Outraged? You should be. Luckily, there's something you can do. Actually, make that four things. Check it - ACTION ALERT: Four Things YOU Can Do About Malalai Joya’s Visa Denial

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Nikki McClure posters - 2011

Yes, another new crop of poster prints from papercut artist extraordinaire Nikki McClure. Please stop by & check them out. Guaranteed to brighten up that blank piece of wall you've been wondering what to do with.

Here's a great interview with her where she talks about her techniques and inspiration: The cuts & complexities of Nikki McClure

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food For Thought Books in the News

from the Daily Collegian:

Pride and Color posters vandalized
By: Tim Jones | February 23, 2011

Local Amherst-based book shop Food for Thought Books has plastered its front window with posters showing images developed by Amherst College’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Queer Racial/Ethnic minorities (GLBTQREM) group.

The group, known as “Pride and Color,” has recently been the target of defamation and vandalism, as the group has recently discovered an unknown person or persons has been covering its images of homosexual partners across town with duct tape. The group is dedicated to promoting ethnic and racial diversity among homosexuals, and is based in the five-college consortium. ...

Mitch Gaslin, collective owner of Food for Thought, said the taping has been somewhat sporadic over time.

“This is the first time someone has been so persistent,” Gaslin said.

‘It’s really not a big deal taking the tape off, and I think it’s not having the effect they want. If anything, it’s drawing more attention to the campaign,” he added. ... read more


re: The Case of the Homophobic Duct Tape

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Playing the game of telephone

FYI: We just discovered a nice big leak in our ceiling that, other than conveniently ruining a nice big stack of books, also seems to have somehow knocked our phones out. If you call us right now, you'll hear the phone ringing, but we won't.

Seeing as how it's the weekend, we're not sure when they'll all be put right. Hopefully soon! Fingers crossed and all that.

In the meantime, please email us at Semaphore &/or signal fires from the north side of the Holyoke range will also be accepted.

Apologies for the inconvenience. You know we want to talk to you! And we will again soon!

Buffalo Street Books becoming a Co-op

Interesting article about a Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca switching over to a co-op model. This is a possible direction Food For Thought Books might be taking.

What do folks think of such a possibility? Leave us your thoughts in the comments or email us at

Buffalo Street Books gets new hope
$110,000 bolsters community buyout idea
by Liz Lawyer

A grassroots effort to form a community buyout of the floundering Buffalo Street Books has taken off, owner Gary Weissbrot said Friday.

Weissbrot announced last week the store would close by the end of March.

On Wednesday, Buffalo Street Books employee Bob Proehl floated the idea to the public of buying the store and operating it as a community cooperative. On Friday afternoon, more than $110,000 had been advanced by community members interested in owning a share in the store, which is a tenant at DeWitt Mall.

"It's been a tsunami," Weissbrot said. "It's very real, very interesting."

Proehl set a goal of $200,000 to buy the bookstore in a message posted on Facebook and in an e-mail forward. In his plan, he suggested dividing that cost into $250 shares. Then, he put a call out for true independent bookstore fans to walk the walk.

"There's always a lot of talk in this town of how supportive Ithaca is of its artists or artist community," Proehl said Friday. "A lot of times, that rhetoric leaves me scratching my chin a little bit. But what we see now is a community that's really stepping up to the plate and living up to its reputation. As far as my attitude toward this community right now, it's a total turnaround from two weeks ago." ... read more
Also definitely worth reading is Bob Proehl's original proposal to the community.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism

Read & join the Valley-wide discussion of The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism. This hard-hitting work of investigative research exposes the environmental consequences of US military practices.

Author Barry Sanders will be speaking twice in the Pioneer Valley:

  • February 9th at 7:30pm
    Neilson Browsing Room, Smith College Library

  • February 10th from 12:30-2:00pm
    Sloan Theater, Greenfield Community College
For more information, call Beth Adams (413) 522-7505

Update: Both of these speaking events have been postponed until April. Please call the number above for more information.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Calendars on sale!

Calendars are now all 50% off!
We still have some good ones in stock so come on by & grab one before they disappear!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Case of the Homophobic Duct Tape

Want to know something weird? For the past few weeks, someone has been coming by & covering two flyers in our window with duct tape. Check it:

see more pictures on our Flickr page

The flyers are for Pride and Color, a blog for GLBTQ Racial and Ethnic minorities in the Five College Community.

Obviously, someone finds the image of two men kissing (!) or of two women lying next to each other (!!) to be so offensive they feel moved to blot it out. At the same time, it's such a strangely futile way to go about it (duct tape is, after all, easily removable). Are they just doing this for themselves? Or do they think they're doing a service to the community somehow - some sort of self-appointed morality officer? It's hard to know what someone gets out of such a strange act.

In any case, the flyers had been up for awhile and we were going to take them down to put up some newer ones, but as long as this keeps happening, I think we'll just keep leaving them up.

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