Wandering Minds: Books Drop as Clubs Soar

An 800-hundred mile, one-day driving trip has a way of settling the mind.

Or unsettling it.

Not that the mind is necessarily engaged in anything meaningful or productive. It simply has ample space within which to wander.

Disconnected thoughts, desperately unrelated to one another enchant, enrage and energize.

What, for instance, are we to make of this stream of consciousness observation?

Driving the 35 miles alongside the scenic Susquehanna River on Pennsylvania routes 11 and15, between Duncannon and Selinsgrove, there appears to be a disproportionate number of “Gentlemen’s Clubs.”

While proudly advertised on the full-sized billboards that also border the River, the club buildings themselves are fairly discreet.

Typically, the billboards feature a female model, the club’s name and identification of the club’s intended membership. Not at all ostentatious or, for that matter, salacious, they alert without alarming drivers.

I notice all of this, by the way, while drafting behind a rather fast-moving flatbed tractor trailer with “Sudden Action” emblazoned in script on the back of its cab.

Not sure if there’s a connection to be made.

On the same strip (sorry) of road one observes a second feature: all the Adult Bookstores have closed. Weathered siding and plywood-covered doors add an air of finality to the outcome.

While a billboard announcing them or ancient building signage revealing the structure’s specialty persists, the business does not.

This despite the fact there is abundant parking. Most of it located behind the building.

Librarians, doubtless, are weeping.

And because the present Blog is neither moral crusade nor expression of outrage, are we to assume readership – or literacy – has somehow taken a dramatic drop in this one area?

Or, perhaps, reading has now migrated to the segregated-by-sex Clubs. Their advertising doesn’t reveal the activities one engages in at such Clubs. Just who they are for.

One supposes, as well, that the pain experienced by the hard-hit retail book industry (e.g., Dalton’s, Borders et al.) is now broadly shared.

Children’s books. Adult books. Self-help books.

Maybe the Clubs serve the function for the latter.

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