by Pat Holt

Friday, October 2, 1998



Thanks to the many readers who have complai - alerted us that Holt Uncensored is so lengh - pithy they can't absorb it in one reading and have begun to print it out to read later. Not good, say our shocked editors: Holt Uncensored is supposed to be a read-it-in-one-scroll column that requires no extra steps on your part and, as a work-in-progress, can split itself in two, beginning with this issue.

From now on, you'll get our industry spoof, "Remainders of the Day," on Friday, and book industry news and reviews on Tuesdays. (Unless something too timely or fun comes along that I can't help throw in on Friday, as for example the following.)


The Planning Commission of San Francisco granted Border a continuance at the last minute, so the hearing that will determine whether a 20,000-square-foot Borders can move across the street from the 2,000-square-foot Solar Light Bookstore will not take place until early November. However, the West Coast Book People Association luncheon held yesterday - at which Solar Light owner David Hughes spoke - triggered a new dialogue about inventive ways a local book community may support independent bookstores facing similar threats. Ideas discussed included informational picket lines, coalitions with (nonbook) independent retailers, collaborative advertisements and financial aid. As to the latter, the group started an immediate defense fund for Solar Light's out-of-pocket defenses and raised $400 on the spot.

A QUESTION OF LANGUAGE OR EXPERIENCE? From the academic Internet: A humorous if chilling e-mail message to professors has been circulating about students entering college this Fall. It seems history is happening so fast that generations lose touch with each other sooner than they used to. Here's what every old campus fogey over 30 needs to know about first-year college students, most of them born in 1980:

They have no recollection of the Reagan era They don't remember when Spam was considered edible They see nothing strange about Gorbachev doing pizza commericals Their lifetime has always included AIDS They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf war began Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as The Great Depression Vinyl albums predate them; the phrase "you sound like a broken record" means nothing Many remember only 32 cent stamps They can't remember the Braves and Bulls having terrible teams They don't know what a Beta videotape is Their parents were in diapers when the Beatles started They were born in the year that the Walkman was introduced by Sony They probably have no recollection of seeing a "Pinto" or "Yugo" on the road You could send them a "cc" of this, but they would not know what a carbon copy is.

It's a funny if chilling list, but imagine what parallel cautions these young college students might broadcast about the over-50 crowd attempting to use personal computers: "They (the over-50s) don't know their bits from their bytes; they somehow think UNIVAC is powerful more than iMAC; they still think its amusing to call pencils the "first word processors."