Posts Tagged: bookstores
Bookstores around the world have been working to reinvent themselves in the wake of Amazon’s rise, and stocking gift items has been a chief tactic. If you’ve never been to a Waterstone’s in the UK, here’s a sampling of what it’s like:
Gifts now seem to take up as much space as books, at least on the tables, where the prettiest paperbacks are distributed among Orla Kiely pots and enamel cups.
“I was looking at books… Gary and I had seen each other. We didn’t know one another. And he walked over to me in this particular bookstore and handed me a book by Teran and said, ‘You’ve gotta read this book, it’s really good.'”
NPR shares the love story of Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp, retiring owners of Once Upon a Crime, a mystery bookstore in Minneapolis....more
A New Age book and gift shop in Denver, Colorado called Isis Books and Gifts changed its branding after vandals smashed its sign, thinking the store was related to the Islamic State. The sign now reads “Goddess of 10,000 Names,” which is an honorific for the ancient Egyptian goddess....more
A recent New York Times report showed that e-book sales are declining while printed book sales are doing well. Over at Lit Hub, Adam Sternbergh argues that the printed book is going nowhere, for at least another 500 years:
Whatever medium the music is delivered in, the song remains the same—once it gets to your headphones, it doesn’t really matter what form it arrived in (esoteric preferences for the “warmth” of vinyl notwithstanding.
Publisher’s Weekly has a retrospective on Amazon.com’s 20 years of selling books, DVDs, electronics, and everything else. The article cites the introduction of the Kindle and the Kindle e-bookstore as Amazon’s most important innovation, but is quick to cite the company’s other advances—as well as the many controversies sparked by said advances....more
In what can aptly be described as a preemptive strike against online retailers like Amazon, major Japanese bookstore chain Kinokuniya bought up to 90% of the first print run of Haruki Murakami’s latest book of essays, Novelist as a Vocation....more
Memphis-area Burke’s Book Store celebrated its 140th year of selling books. The current owners plan to use the milestone reintroduce the store, and that includes investing in a custom bicycle to make book deliveries.
Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi started because owners Richard and Lisa Howorth believed William Faulkner’s town should have a bookstore....more
Women writers, like women activists, have always done a considerable amount of the intellectual heavy lifting required for innovation. And yet try to find many of these women in bookstores: Kay Boyle, Grace Paley, Janet Flanner, Laurie Colwin, Meredith Tax, Dawn Powell, Meridel LeSeur, Colette, Nella Larsen, Paule Marshall, Dorothy West, Mina Loy, Josephine Herbst, Sonia Sanchez, Gwendolyn Brooks, Helen Adam, Alcott’s non-fiction, etc.
A Portuguese bookstore popular with tourists plans on charging admission, reports WTVY. The bookstore is not just a stunning architectural monument, but also the inspiration behind the library at Hogwarts. Before writing the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling taught English in Oporto, Portugal where Livraria Lello is located....more
New York City’s The Strand bookstore is one of the world’s great literary institutions. For literary pilgrims, The Strand is a destination akin to Shakespeare and Company in Paris or Powell’s in Portland. Now, The Strand is modernizing. Many of its quirks, like its mandatory bag check, have been eliminated while novelties, like lollipops and socks, are expanded....more
Many of us remember the glory days of Blockbuster, and its gradual fall. Many of us also question the fate of bookstores at the hands of technology. At Electric Literature, Jeremy Hawkins argues that bookstores will not suffer the same fate as video stores—in fact, he says, indie bookstores are doing better than ever....more
Independent bookstores will save the world, or at least the publishing industry, maybe. Josh Weil and Mike Harvkey took a road trip across the country, exploring independent bookstores. They found a collection of dedicated shops and local literary communities, but that didn’t answer the fundamental question: how important are independent bookstores are to writers?...more
Printing pricing information on book covers has long been a standard practice to help track inventory. The suggested pricing also helps increase the perceived value of books. The internet, especially Amazon, has changed that perception of value leading some booksellers to question the pre-printed price information....more
Future generations may never understand the simply joy of searching a used bookstore for a long-coveted title. While online megastores allow readers access to virtually any book, typing a title into a search box is much less satisfying than sleuthing through shelves of pre-owned books....more
A bright spot in the midst of all the back-and-forth in the Amazon battle—Kate Brittain, at The Morning News, writes about the state of independent bookstores:
I began my search in a nervous mood. But as I entered name after name into the database, wandering virtually into every store I could discover between our shining seas, I ceased, slowly, to worry.
Garrison Keillor is the host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” an author, and the owner of an independent bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota, but even he doesn’t get everything he wants:
…the worst thing [about the bookselling business] is that you do not get a 10 percent discount when you buy books.
Late last month, employees of Book Culture, an independent New York City bookstore, voted to unionize. Five employees were promptly fired.
Punitively firing employees who participate in labor unions violates federal labor law. On July 2, the remaining workers went on strike in protest of the illegal firings....more
How does a child experience a book? It’s such a different experience reading on a tablet or a smartphone. A physical book has a heft, a permanence that you don’t get digitally. So our hope is that the bookstore will remain a vital, important part of communities across the country and the world.