To the editors:

Andersonville is a lovely neighborhood, boasting quaint, well-preserved architecture and a diverse assortment of shops, restaurants, and cafes. I love living here. But one thing is sorely lacking: a good, general-interest bookstore.

The one bookstore we do have, Women & Children First [“Breaking the Chains,” June 4], is a decent place to turn if you want to stock up on Andrea Dworkin or pick up the latest issue of Bust, but pretty much useless if your tastes range beyond the limits of the store owners’ admittedly specialized sensibilities. By campaigning against Borders, Women & Children First’s owners are effectively declaring themselves antichoice, which strikes me (a lapsed feminist) as a teensy bit of an irony.

Look, I buy a ton of books. I’d be happy to give Women & Children First my money, to keep it “in the neighborhood” and all–if they actually sold books I was interested in buying. They don’t, so I trek off to Borders or turn to the Internet; heck, I sent $158 to a certain Seattle book-seller earlier today. I’m not quite sure how this helps the neighborhood.

We heard a lot of alarmist talk a couple years back from folks who thought the presence of a Starbucks would destroy Andersonville’s neighborhood cafes. Well, Starbucks arrived, and the cafes survived. Indeed, on busy nights I can’t even find a seat at the Kopi cafe to read the books I didn’t buy–couldn’t have bought–at Women & Children First.

David Futrelle