Porters Arehouse Open for Christmas Ghosts

Listen to Jim: http://www.jimreedbooks.com/mp3/PortersArehouse.mp3 or read on…

Driving in from a dreaded trip into the bowels of the ‘burbs is worth every moment, once I arrive in the Southside/Downtown world I inhabit.

It’s comforting to see the sights many suburbanites will never enjoy:

1. An enormous sign: PORTERS AREHOUSE. Only we living ghosts of Downtown would know that this is the abandoned establishment once known as Importers Warehouse, now weather-sheared of some of its former identity.

2. The California Fashion Mall, which is a story unto itself (listen to my long-ago comments about that): http://www.jimreedbooks.com/audio/christmas/1/track10.asx


3. The haunting memory of long sterile rows of neatly regimented books in lock-step passionless order at an emporium I saw a few months ago. Can’t wait to get back to Reed Books/The Museum of Fond Memories, my homage to the way books ought to be treated: since each book is its author personified, I’ve always assumed that few authors would like it if we lined them up and forced them to stand at attention under cold fluorescent lights, bereft of any of the comforts near which they wrote their stories—such as the blankies and favorite chairs and tasty snacks and window-views and neighborhood sounds that provided a solid pedestal for their work. My shop is arranged so as not to insult book or author or customer with regimentation. Joy is everywhere in this little world! The merry confusion of Reed Books is part of my gift to you.

4. Stopping by my 1906 home, then driving to the 1890 building housing Reed Books, is a ritual and a privilege. These buildings are the center of my little world, and I love it when you visit. Come see things you’ll never experience in the ‘burbs, take home a memory, a memory you can use as seedling for spreading the gospel of Old Things and the wonderful feelings they evoke in people. Drop by and I’ll show you a few. 

5. Since Christmas comes but once a day in my world, pick a day and come in. See what this season can be all about in a dreamworld more realistic than anything you’ll find Out There

Jim Reed

(c) 2011 A.D.



Listen to Jim: http://www.jimreedbooks.com/mp3/AvoidTakingAdvice.mp3 or read on…

I’ve rubbed elbows with many wise and witty and even famous people in my span…I’ve had contact with even more wise and witty and famous folk via literature and media and public presentation.

You’d think that more than half a century of being exposed to the wisdoms and outrages of the renowned as well as the insignificant would make me a sage, a vizier, a Village Elder, one to whom you come to find a Better Way—or at least a Better Oblique View.

But, nay, even though the thoughts and comforts of far-superior people have crossed the threshhold of my consciousness as well as my conscience, very little seems to have adhered, not much of those wise and wonderful ideas have stuck.

This is mostly because I seem to have been born a Contrarian, a skeptic, a little professor who automatically examines each person’s reality and dismisses it as profound but inconclusive. Can’t help it. I’m just that way.

The good news is, I also inherently pick and choose the ideas and thoughts and wisdoms and witticisms that seem to fit my chaotic psychic makeup. This means that at times I am smart and alert and creative and helpful to those seeking help…while at other times I just have goofy ideas that entertain me but affect almost no-one else.

So, if you want to be in the presence of an active and entertaining mind, you have to approach me when I’m in the right place, cosmically. Sometimes you’ll run into a wise-cracking, ebullient curmudgeon, while at other times you’ll find yourself at the feet of the Master. I can’t tell you how to predict what you’ll encounter, but I can guarantee that if you approach me nonjudgementally and are open to a special experience, you just might come away with something nice to ponder. At the very least, you’ll have heard something funny or outrageous or off-center. And even that will bring you one step closer to mending the Universe until it fits you  just fine.

It would be a World more special if each of us would simply enjoy the moment and avoid trying to improve anybody but ourselves. Look upon it as entertainment—people are just who they are, and we would do well to leave them be. We just have to be cautious and give the angry and the violent and the bigoted a wide berth.

There are so many entertaining people to know that, once you learn to do this, you’ll never miss the disturbed ones

(c) 2011 A.D. by Jim Reed



Listen to Jim: http://www.jimreedbooks.com/mp3/bookieman.mp3 or read on…



We fellow People of the Words are a breed lying fallow at the edge of an unreasoning society, a truncated society that values but little the World of Thought, the World of Reflection, the World of  Thinking-Things-Out-Before-Acting.


Wouldn’t you say about three to four per cent of the barely educable planet actually cherishes the idea of Seeing Beyond dogma and cast-iron rules and comfortable habit and imprisoning ritual? I don’t meet many folks in this category, but I recognize them instantly and appreciate them excessively.


Not that I don’t enjoy the other ninety-six per cent of humanity, but it’s awfully difficult to conduct a discussion of just about anything beyond what they’ve been instructed to think by tradition, media, wily Fox, artful politician, manipulative corporate power. By now, I know all their rants by heart, since they are repeatedly injected into the ethos and comfortably worn like an old jacket or, in some cases, a scratchy burlap shirt.


I don’t mind their knowing only what they know and nothing else—perhaps that’s what they are capable of. But I do mind it when they don’t care to listen to my rants as carefully as I listen to theirs. As every teen-ager since time began says, “It’s just not fair!”


Anyhow, those of us comprising the tiny palmful of Think-Beyonders must sally forth and continue to keep a few fresh thoughts and ideas alive, hoping that a generation or two beyond will adopt some of them and make them blossom.


It is for this reason that many of us writers write, even when we’re not certain there are any readers at all. We keep plying our trade because to give up and abandon it would be insulting not only to our Muse, but to the Hopeful Universe at large.


It is why the book shop/Museum of Fond Memories clings and endures and thrives. It has to. We four per cent need something to read, something to think, something to contemplate—even if it doesn’t fit, isn’t our size, won’t quite cling to the culture.


We know we have a purpose, we just don’t know what it is. But we do know the effort is worthwhile


© Jim Reed 2011 A.D.