Corso San Gottardo still keeps connected the southern part of Milan and its monumental Piazza XXIV Maggio, close to the Darsena. It was built at the end of the XIX century and was named after San Gottardo, bishop of Hildesheim (960-1038).
I reached the end of Corso San Gottardo, heading south, to find something that profoundly disgusted me. There used to be a book shop here. More precisely, there used to be two.
The bookshop in Largo Mahler closed more than three years ago. Its owner tried to sell books through a friend shop nearby (Vaniglia e Zenzero), but the loss to the block and its inhabitants was incalculable. Biblioteca del Corso, instead, shut its doors few months ago. To be replaced by … Try a guess.
A dentist shop!
Independent bookshops have largely disappeared in Milan. In their places, many franchising shops opened, such as Keyo, Yamamay, Kiko, Zara, and the likes. A few big names survived, Mondadori, Feltrinelli, Rizzoli, but they are incumbents. They are backed financially by a strong economic group, therefore can offer a wider selection of titles and authors.
How can I trust a librarian if its offer is too wide to be managed, without filter, without selection, therefore, without personality? Let our choice be immune from incumbents’ commercial policies. They seduce you with everything you have ever dreamt of, while binding your freedom of choice with the rule of demand and offer.
Let those little bookshops survive, please! Let our librarian be human beings and not corporations.