Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

June 19, 2014

Special quality of Andover Bookstore hard to come by


The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

I am joining other readers to express my dismay at Phillip Academy’s decision to abridge its relationship with Andover Bookstore.

For many of us in the Andovers, the bookstore is part of the cultural fabric of the community. And as a former PA parent, I would hope that the academy still considers itself invested in the quality of life in this town.

Like so many other locals — much as I may lean on my Amazon Prime, I will go out of my way to keep my “frequent reader” card active. The store and its staff make it so worth driving instead of clicking, and paying a little extra for some good advice from a knowledgeable human, a fire in the fireplace, author events for readers of all ages, and an atmosphere that nurtures enthusiasm for books. Why would they deprive their students of this experience? Sure, the kids can find whatever they may want online, but “special” and “personal” are increasingly hard to come by in the marketplace.

What’s at stake is more than a bookstore, and the 200-year relationship the academy is suddenly so cavalier about entails multiple implications beyond any accounting principles. The decision to switch suppliers is disheartening at best and seems callous at worst. I’m one of many who are crossing fingers that when the year’s contract with the interloper is up, loyalty and heritage will win out.

Karen English

76 Center St.