逛書店:獨立書店的力量

by MT

曾經和我老闆提過,如果說二手書店塑造了我的學術輪廓也不為過,因為在那裡常常會看到一些不曾注意過的經典,老闆也心有戚戚焉。不過要說最早開啟了我的研究眼界,應該還是要算賣新書的獨立書店,這裡我想到的是大度山上的東海書苑。一家好的獨立書店的條件是根據知識的類別和重要性來選書,而不是根據銷售量和大眾的閱讀習慣。當然這樣的一個基本條件是要有固定的讀者群才養得起,東海書苑在大度山上算是勉強支撐,到後來還是不得不搬到台中市區。

在美國很少逛獨立書店,因為這種實體書店都是照定價賣很不划算,如果在亞馬遜上面買的話,新書通常都有六折到七折不等的折扣,還免運費。另一個主要原因也是以前我住的城鎮雖然也是大學城,但是唯一的一家獨立書店選書並不怎麼樣,連社會學這個類別都沒有,更不用提文化研究,總的來說反映了地方的保守古典風氣。雖然以前偶爾會到Barnes and Nobles和Borders逛,發現美國大改每隔一個月入口架上的新書就會重新汰換一次,新書的出版速度很快。但是畢竟要顧及大眾的吸收和品味,不可能放太多純粹學術的書籍。

這個月住在賓州大學附近,在校園附近發現兩家選書都很不錯的獨立書店,讓我覺得很訝異。逛實體書店和網路書店的差異還是很大的。雖然亞馬遜的關連功能十分不錯,通常找一本書的時候都能連結到同一主題的書。有時候關連太多了,好像會繁殖,一本一本加到wishlist的時候讓人按到手軟。然而在選書得當的獨立書店,不但相關主題的書排列在附近,而且書本的份量一目了然,又可以拿下來隨手翻閱,目次、索引、插圖,都可以很快翻過,而且這些都是最新的學術研究成果,以前的經典雖然重要,但是通常都是指引方法,真正的詳細知識還要後人來補足。實體書店的另一個好處是可以在不同主題之間快速轉換,有時候因為一本書的擺設位置比較顯眼,或是剛好放在原本要看的書旁邊,就會注意到一些漏網的好書,這種機遇的趣味實在是網路書店不能相比的。

這幾天來我都會在回家途中或吃午餐的時候進去晃一下,背個三、四本書的書名,回到住的地方再用亞馬遜搜尋紀錄。其實也不太常進去,因為每次都會花很多時間,有點累,也不太喜歡入寶山空手而出的感覺。今天看檔案看得比較累,中午吃完午餐的時候晃進比較大的那家Penn Books休息,再次感到美國學者和出版商實在很過分,尤其是地景研究的領域,短短的這兩年內怎麼可以出那麼多好看的新書!這時發現身上正巧帶著墨水筆和小筆記本,我就厚著臉皮把紙和筆拿出來抄書名了。抄的時候只抄幾個關鍵字,回來在亞馬遜上查的到就好。中午抄得不過癮,下午回家之前再去一趟。抄到人家關門了都還不知道,真是奧客。

這份書單列出來,不禁讓人讚嘆美國(英語地區?)學術研究的蓬勃朝氣,這些幾乎都是最近兩年內出版的新書,尤其是文化史和地景研究這些比較新的研究途徑,可以發現新一代的學者都學成下山了,讓人目不暇給。除此之外,這份書單更讓人看見一個書店的氣度。一家書店不以暢銷書為主,而專賣學術書籍,這就需要兩個條件,一是又有足夠的讀者群來供養,二是研究或創作本身的品質本身要夠好,文筆不能太隨便。兩個因素相互影響,做得好的話就能促成一股良性循環。當然我喜歡的書也反映了我的偏見,例如幾乎都沒有文學創作,太實用的社會科學也無法引起我的興趣。回家之後稍微花了一點時間把書名找齊,附上亞馬遜的連結。以後有空再來進行「看書名寫感想」的蠢事,補上簡單的介紹順便自娛娛人。

Cultural History
The Secret History of Emotion: From Aristotle’s Rhetoric to Modern Brain Science, Gross
Conversation: A History of a Declining Art, Miller
John Betjeman on Trains, Glancey
Radio’s America: The Great Depression and the Rise of Modern Mass Culture, Lenthall
Happiness: A History, McMahon
Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve, Gilbert
Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music, Lipsitz
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster, Dana Thomas
Pathologies of Modern Space: Empty Space, Urban Anxiety, and the Recovery of the Public Self, Milun
Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things, Boden, Lash, and Lury
The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder, Horwitz
A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion, Albanese

Philosophy
Rousseau: Restless Genius, Damrosch
Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Daoist Thought, Froese

Literature
1913, The Cradle of Modernism, Rabate
The Walk, Debuys
On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Environmental –ism and history
Not a Drop to Drink: America’s Water Crisis, Midkiff
Contested Lands: Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Bosnia, Cyprus, and Sri Lanka, Bose
Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement, Brown
Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa: From Vermont to Italy in the Footsteps of George Perkins Marsh, John Elder
The Natural History of North American Trees, Peattie
On Garbage, Scanlan
To Follow the Water: Exploring the Ocean to Discover Climate, Murphy

Politics
The Politics of Small Things: The Power of the Powerless in Dark Times, Goldfarb
Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, Appiah
The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought, Aydin
Taming Democracy: “The People,” the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution, Bouton
In the Space of Theory: Postfoundational Geographies of the Nation-State, Sparke

Urban Studies and History
Mapping Global Cities: Mapping Global Cities: GIS Methods in Urban Analysis, Pamuk
Cities, John Reader
European Cities: Social Conflicts and Governance, Le Gales
The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, Oldenburg
Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A Urban New World, Neuwirth
Paradise of Cities: Venice in the 19th Century, Norwich
Cities in the International Marketplace: The Political Economy of Urban Development in North America and Western Europe, Savitch
State of the World: Our Urban Future, World Watch Institution
Postindustrial East Asian Cities, Yusuf
**Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages, Sassen**
Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880-1950, Fogelson
Halfway to Everywhere: A Portrait of America’s First-Tier Suburbs, Hudnut
A River and Its City: the Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, Kelman
Last Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville: Real Estate Development in America from George Washington to the Builders of the Twenty-first Century, and Why We Live in Houses Anyway, Witold Rybczynski
East Asia Modern: Shaping the Contemporary City, Peter Rowe
Civic Realism, Peter Rowe
For the city yet to come: Changing African Life in Four Cities, Simone
**The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America, Teaford**
Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary, Alexiou
The New suburban History, eds. Kruse and Sugrue

Sustainablity
The Human Metropolis: People And Nature in the Twenty-first Century City, Platt
Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities, McMahon
Landscape Ecology and Resource Management: Linking Theory With Practice, Bissonette and Storch eds
The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainablity: Charting the Conceptual Landscape through Economy, Ecology, and Culture, Thorpe
Green City: People, Nature, and Urban Life, Soderstrom (十一個城市的案例研究)
Ecological Design, Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan
Repairing the American Metropolis: Common Place Revisited, Kelbaugh

Landscape Studies
**Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization, Casid**
City, Country, Empires: Landscape in Environmental History, ed. Diefendorf and Dorsey
Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are, Robbins
The Busiest Man in England: A Life of Joseph Paxton, Gardener, Architect & Victorian Visionary, Kate Colquhoun
Beyond Geography: The Western Spirit Against the Wilderness, Frederick Turner
Agropolis: The Social, Political and Environmental Dimensions of Urban Agriculture, Mougeot
The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American Environmentalism, Aaron Sachs
Is Geography Destiny: Lessons from Latin America, Gallup
Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism, de Blij
Mapping and Imagination in Great Basin: A Cartographic History, Francaviglia
New Geographies of American West: Land Use and the Changing Patterns of Place, Travis
Maps and politics, Jeremy Black
Groundswell: Stories of Saving Places, Finding Community, Alix Hopkins
Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, Lopez

Architectural History
**Half the World: The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590-1722, Stephen Blake**
Airspaces, Pascoe
Dwellings: The Vernacular House Worldwide, Paul Oliver
Victor Gruen: From Urban Shop to New City, Alex Wall
Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream, Hardwick
Invitation to vernacular architecture: A Guide to the Study of Ordinary Buildings and Landscapes, Carter and Cromley
Brandscape: Architecture in the Experience Economy, Klingmann

Landscape Architecture
Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternate Water Reuse, Kinkade-Levario
Stone Primer: Ideas and Techniques for Incorporating Stone In and Around Your Home, McRaven
A Safe and Sustainable World: the Promise of Ecological Design, Todd
Reducing Infrastructure Damage by Tree Roots
Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto, Tracey