in Exit Series

Exit Series – Cultural Criticism

One Saturday I find myself walking these streets that I have known intimately for almost 3 years now. 17th street leading to Locust leading to 18th to Sansom and eventually to Joseph Fox Books which is where I’m headed right now. This is a pretty elongated route to get to the bookstore from my place (I could cut at least 3 blocks). I prefer this way though, because it takes you by the edge of Rittenhouse park and Parc, a lively French restaurant. I am not looking for anything in particular and I’m certainly averse to spending money on another book, but I like browsing the shelves and the desire to not be alone at home on this Saturday morning has propelled me here.

In the bookstore, I am listening in on a conversation between the staff and a prospective customer. They’re looking up Hilton Als’ White Girls to understand what it’s about – the girl had inquired about it. “Cultural criticism” is what a cursory search on the internet brings up and the customer, probably looking for a summer beach-read and entirely dissuaded by the weight of the result, promptly shelves the book. I haven’t read it but know that “cultural criticism” barely does justice to the book. I wonder how Hilton Als feels about it.

I browse through some books on design and art — genres I’ve been interested in lately — but since I didn’t come here to buy anything I end up leaving soon after.


This post is part of Exit Series.

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