Someone must take up the mantle

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“Treasures to Cherish” was the title of an article in the Pasatiempo newsmagazine of the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper: on the wonderful bookstores in that renowned city. I wrote a letter to the newspaper, which was published Feb. 10, describing the special treasure of a local bookstore to cherish that is right here in Las Vegas, Tome on the Range.

I called Tome “a jewel of an independent bookstore in the heart of Las Vegas on historic Bridge Street” and continued, “This bookstore offers the community an incredibly rich and diverse selection of well-chosen books, classics and information, along with Story Hour and author appearances, salons and special events: the kinds of activities that create opportunities for literacy and conversation and that bring people together to discover the pleasures of the written word.  This is a bookstore worthy of a much larger town and an insufficiently appreciated adjunct to the two institutions [along with the nearby United World College] of higher education in Las Vegas.”

Quoting an article in The Atlantic magazine about the role of the independent bookstore in towns, I wrote, as did the author of the article, about Amazon: “The lowest price does not always represent the best value. ... [The local bookstore] creates jobs in our community and contributes to the tax base; ... [It is] a place where children can learn and play, where they can think those two things are one and the same. ... Amazon doesn’t get to make all the decisions; the people can make them, by choosing how and where they spend their money. ... If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read a book.  This is how we change the world. ...”

Unfortunately, we in the Las Vegas community are in danger of losing this treasure in our midst. The owner, who has given so much to Las Vegas over the past 17 years, is tired.

Someone else (or someones) must take up the mantle and ensure the survival of this home for books and the community, for the good for all of us.

Carol Winkel
Las Vegas