Most people, Americans or otherwise, are scared by the Trump administration and its often insane, almost always inane actions. Americans are particularly scared because it is our country and we feel powerless to change things in the near term. While far from a panacea, perhaps what I did the last two Fridays will give you a nudge. Let’s explore.
Two Fridays ago I was having a great day driving around most of the day with my wife. We had the local NPR station (WUNC) on the radio as is our normal practice. For some time we have talked about becoming sustainers and just never got around to doing it. As fate would have it the station was holding a fund drive and we finally said enough procrastinating. Journalism is under assault like never before in American history. If we ever needed a free press it is in the Trump administration! Funding to anything other than right wing groups is in danger of drying up in the very near future. We are far from wealthy, but we put our money where our mouths and our grandchildren’s’ futures are; we became sustainers albeit at a modest amount. We also felt very good about it!
In about 2012 I received a Kindle as a gift. I was skeptical at first having been a book lover for decades. Soon I got to the point that it became laborious for me to read a paper book. Over the last few years the only ones I have read were either gifts, the work of friends or signed copies. I’ve recently switched from the Kindle to my iPad but it is still an electronic book.
I love bookstores. They have always been special places to me. I have felt a bit guilty because by buying electronic books I wasn’t doing my tiny bit to help keep local bookstores in business.
Recently urgency was added to the guilt. Many local bookstores across the country have been hosting letter writing events. Those letters were promoting progressive causes. Again this is a reaction to the Trump administration’s actions. In places like Brooklyn and Berkley a bookstore can actually promote these events openly and because of their neighborhoods enhance their business. I’m not in any way diminishing the good they are doing. There are bookstores in red neighborhoods that are hosting the same kind of events rather quietly. They are gaining marginal, if any, sales while risking a lot. That is courage!
There is Canadian online e-book seller named kobo.com that allows a user to designate a local bookstore to receive part of the proceeds of the sale. This is the best of both worlds for someone like me. I get the book in the form and on the platform I prefer while still supporting a local bookstore. I found one in a deep red neighborhood in a blue county that was discretely supporting progressive causes.
I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow but I’m proud of what I did the last two Fridays! If a lot of us do a lot of little things we’ll weather this storm. If we don’t it’s our own damn fault!
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