Practical Midwest Anarchism

Chuck0 took a trip up to last weekend’s Anarchist Bookfair in Madison, WI and posted a nice reportback on his blog. Chuck was there to table with the new issue of Practical Anarchy. I’m looking foward to getting myself a copy.

I would’ve like to have gone to the Bookfair and really have no good excuse for not going, except not being organized enough or thinking about it before the weekend was upon me. I’d really like to see an Anarchist bookfair happen here in Champaign-Urbana, but I think I would need to be involved in making it happen.

Our IMC is hoping to buy a new building sometime in the next 12 months or so, I think waiting until we have a place (and we’re thinking it’ll be a pretty big one) would be wise.

One of the projects I’d like to pursue when the U-C IMC gets a new home is to have a collectively run bookstore and music shop. The IMC has sold a small selection of indie music, books and zines on consignment since opening up, but because the IMC itself has sporadic hours and has less foot traffic since being forced to quit holding shows last year, there hasn’t been much interest. On top of that, there isn’t much space, either.

Having a bigger space where we might be able to dedicate a whole room to a book and music store (and also be able to lock it and have better inventory control) seems more workable to me. On top of that, Champaign-Urbana has lost almost all of its independent sellers of new music and books, which I constantly hear people lamenting about.

Of course, the reason I always hear about the failure of the independents is the high cost of doing business, the impact of mp3 downloading and the resulting difficultly of making profit. Regardless of how valid these reasons are, that’s why I think a collectively run store housed at an IMC, which therefore will collectively share rent, is a potentially more sustainable model.

The audio geek in me would also like to see the store sell refurbished stereo gear, especially turntables, so that indie music lovers don’t feel like they have to go out to Best Buy to buy a cheap-ass made-in-China-by-slave-labor plastic stereo to listen to their tunes. Especially since decent new turntables are hard to find for less than a couple of hundred dollars, having some nicely refurbed older but working TTs available for maybe $25 – $50 would be good for everyone.

One of my inspirations for this idea is the collectively run Q is for Choir record store in Portland, OR. They have lots of great vinyl, especially punk and other underground music, and they sell refurbed turntables. I’ve only been there once last Fall, so I don’t know how long they’ve been around, or how well they’re surviving. But if I can get a motivated collective together here in C-U when the IMC gets its new home, I’ll definitely have to check in with them.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes