Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

June 12, 2014

200 years of literary tradition has value

Editor, Townsman:

Boo on Phillips. The school’s decision to no longer support Andover Bookstore, a vibrant, independent, cultural respite in the heart of Andover, is shortsighted and wrong. Not only does it put at risk the very viability of this cherished enterprise, but it runs counter to the principle of Phillips’ founding constitution — to educate its students to achieve the “real business of living.”

Phillips’ decision not to renew its textbook contract with Andover Bookstore — with whom it has enjoyed a 200-year-old relationship — may be anticipated to have an unhappy consequence. Such a loss of business will challenge the store’s continued financial viability.

Without Andover Bookstore, Phillips’ students will not be able to browse the aisles of a real bookstore — one where they can pick up a book on the shelf because they find the cover enticing, or where they can discover a new friend in an unexpected venue while curled up in a comfy chair before a fire, munching on free cookies. This palpable and joyous way to explore literature, we suggest, is indeed important to a student’s preparation for the “real business of living.”

Andover Bookstore, with its author readings, book clubs and other events, promotes a supportive cultural and intellectual community that has long benefited Phillips, its staff and students. We urge the trustees of Phillips to recognize that their recent textbook decision affects not cold, corporate widgets, but a mutually beneficial tradition, a tradition instilled in the education of its students as they go forth to achieve the real business of living.

Lois and Perry Karfunkel

22 Orchard Crossing

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