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
Posts Tagged: bookstores
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.
Cut to a skip adjacent the River Foyle in Derry, Ireland, where over 100,000, count ‘em, one-hundred thousand, books lie in massive piles, free for the taking.
“It’s heartbreaking to see what was once my life’s work being dumped into a skip but at least the books are being grabbed by members of the public and fair play to them”, [former joint owner of the Bookworm bookshop] said.
The 21st century bookstore needs to adapt to new ways of doing business to stave off competition from the Internet. And simply getting customers into stores isn’t enough—keeping up requires adding new attractions like literary sommeliers and better in-store event spaces, concludes architect and designer Owain Roberts....more
Last week, the New York Times wrote about the end of Manhattan’s bookstore culture as the shops follow the city’s literary scene into the outer boroughs. Now Dustin Kurtz over at MobyLives raises the possibility that bookstores are responsible for the gentrification of their new neighborhoods, asking three bookstore owners in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods to weigh in....more
Rumors of independent bookstores’ demise may be at least somewhat exaggerated.
On the day before Christmas, New York’s iconic Strand Book Store tweeted that it just had the “best sales day in the history of 86 years at the store”!
(No reports on whether the two marriage proposals that occurred at Strand that day broke any records.)...more
Ever wonder what would happen if a bunch of well-known authors invaded your favorite indie bookstore?
This past weekend, patrons around the country saw it happen. Sherman Alexie’s “Indies First” project successfully launched with writers around the nation volunteering at local independent booksellers, meeting with readers, selling books, and, in the case of children’s book author Bob Shea, cleaning out bookstore refrigerators....more
Could Amazon actually be helping indie bookstores?
It seems counterintuitive, but after a devastating reduction in numbers in the late ’90s, the American Booksellers’ Association has finally started to grow—albeit slowly—since 2005.
Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader argues that by killing off (or mortally wounding) big-box bookstores like Borders, Amazon has made room in the ecosystem for indie bookstores to do what they do best: personally connect readers with books, authors, and publishers....more
A character in Jim C. Hines’s Libriomancer calls bookstores “the closest thing I have to a church.”
If you, too, worship at the altar of crowded shelves and cracked spines, you’ll adore this list of ten unique bookstores from around the world as much as we did....more
Department of Eagles’ Fred Nicolaus is obsessed with John Cheever. “I read John Cheever’s collected short stories when I was twenty, and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since,” he states. So obsessed that his brand new solo project, Golden Suits, takes its name from a Cheever reference, and this brand new video was an experiment inspired by Cheever’s story “The Swimmer.”...more
If the Strand is a palace for books, then Ben McFall is king—of its fiction section, at least.
“It seems like a feat, but if it were your house, you’d know where things are, too,” Mr.
Another bookstore closes and San Francisco yawns. But Adobe Books on 16th Street, between Valencia and Guerrero isn’t another bookstore. It is a haven, a port for lonely souls, readers....more
The good news, as The Atlantic Wire reported yesterday, is many bookstores in Manhattan and Brooklyn managed to weather the storm, and should be—if they aren’t already—doing business as usual within the next day or so.
The bad news is powerHouse Arena, a beloved bookstore situated in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, was not so lucky....more
The New York Times reported yesterday on the notable difference between independent bookstores in France, and their struggling American counterparts.
The article describes the way in which government intervention and price fixing for French-language books has buoyed printed literature in the era of the e-book....more
The bookstore I worked at in college recently closed. I hadn’t thought of the store in probably a few years, hadn’t set foot inside in considerably longer....more
“Cooper Union agreed to reduce the St. Mark’s Bookshop’s rent by $2,500 a month for the next year and send students to help St. Mark’s create a more sustainable business plan.”...more
Here’s more fuel for the dialogue on brick and mortar bookstores and their integral role in creating and supporting the literary community. HTML Giant’s got a double dose of input on the subject—a video of Matthew Stadler delineating the difference between readers and shoppers, and an essay in The Stranger by Paul Constant, encouraging us to take action....more