Thursday, February 26, 2015

Horizon Bookstore bookmark

The Horizon Bookstore had at least three homes in Urbana, Illinois, before disappearing — which happened sometime in the 1990s, I think. When its South Goodwin home and adjacent buildings were razed to make way for a University of Illinois Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory, the bookstore moved to a second-story location on West Oregon Street. By 1996 the Horizon was on South Wright Street, with fewer and fewer books.

The South Goodwin store was very much an academic bookstore, something like a tiny downstate version of the Seminary Co-op: lots of university press books, and as I remember it, lots of “theory,” with austere covers and never no photographs. And the Horizon could order anything. Who else would have ordered Nelson Goodman books for me? Well, the Seminary Co-op, but I didn’t yet know about the Seminary Co-op. The West Oregon location had more small-press books and zines. (Remember zines?) I remember many children’s books at the South Wright location and not much else.

The discoloration on this bookmark — tucked into a Nelson Goodman book — is not a matter of sun damage. The top of the bookmark is in fine shape. The yellowing just below the top and down the edge is the work of paper eating paper. There is no permanence.

Elaine and I took count last night: since moving to downstate Illinois in 1985, we have seen twelve bookstores disappear. That’s not including Borders and Waldenbooks. There is no permanence.

Other bookstores, other bookmarks
Gotham Book Mart
Paperback Booksmith
Strand Book Store

comments: 4

Geo-B said...

After stopping by the Gotham Book Mart, Heraclitus said, "Wise Men Fish Here," but you can never step in the same stream twice.

Michael Leddy said...

And you can’t even go across the street for lunch: Berger’s Deli has moved.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for memorializing Horizon. It was the only place to find Co-Evolution Quarterly, sucessor to the Whole Earth Catalog and other AT or alternative agriculture books. I recently found a Horizon bookmark, perhaps in a Wendell Berry or a Hazel Henderson book from the late 1970's. I recall the owner Dale Tolliver had a bookstore membership too, for discounts. Lots of time spent browsing there on Goodwin Ave near the Krannart Center. Good times.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for commenting — I’m glad to hear from a Horizon customer. Those were good bookstore days.