For the used-book business this is the worst of times and the best of times—worst because stores are closing all over the United States, and best because the internet makes it possible to sell and purchase old books online. In a sense, books no longer go out of print but are easily found, easily ordered, and quickly delivered. A search for a title and an author’s name will get instant results on the online marketplace AbeBooks.com. How long this happy state of affairs will last I can’t say,...
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Thomas Powers, a former Commonweal columnist, is the author of ten books and is currently working on a memoir of his father, who was born in Kentucky and went to school in Illinois, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, California, and Texas before he was eighteen.