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
Posts Tagged: independent bookstores
Bestselling author James Patterson is giving school libraries $1.25 million in grants of $1,000 to $10,000 for books, reading programs, and technology, reports the Washington Post. Patterson has previously pledged $1 million to 175 independent bookstores. His generosity is all part of a broader goal to encourage more reading nationally....more
For Slate, David Rosenberg explores the work of Bryan David Griffith, who spent the year photographing independent bookstores around the US. According to Griffith, the project is not meant to be nostalgic, but rather serves as a “study about the retail space, and how it might be a lot different 30 years from now.”...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
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.
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
The rules of shelving can seem arbitrary, even arcane, but the fundamentals are easy to learn: two hard covers, and no more than three paperbacks of the same title, on each shelf. The exception is the face-out. If the jacket is displayed horizontally, behind it you can stack as many books as can fit.
The ongoing battle between Amazon and Hachette has been a boon for independent booksellers. Hachette’s refusal to capitulate to Amazon’s demands has meant that big-name books, like J.K. Rowling’s latest mystery The Silkworm (published under the pen name Robert Galbraith), can’t be pre-ordered from the online giant....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.
Good literary citizens shop at local independent bookstores, and Amazon’s ongoing trade war with Hachette underscores the fragility of a marketplace dominated by a single online retailer. But are local bookstores just another form of privilege? Kelly Jensen writing at BookRiot explains what its like to live in a book desert:
Not all readers have access to brick and mortar stores.
Independent booksellers face plenty of competition from national chains and the Internet, but a new kind of hybrid store might offer a model that Amazon can never replicate: bookstore bars. Niamh Ni Mahoileoin writes over at ZY that successful bar-bookstores tap into their local communities, becoming partners in neighborhood life:
Events are also essential to the bookstore bar model, establishing them as vibrant community spaces rather than straight retail operations.
Brooklyn has two independent Community bookstores—Park Slope’s Community Bookstore and Cobble Hill’s The Community Bookstore. John Scioli, owner of the latter, tells MobyLives that he founded the original with his ex-wife before they split. Scioli goes on to talk about life as a bookstore owner:
These days, The Community Bookstore is open when Scioli decides it will be—usually opening its doors in the afternoon and closing around 11pm.
We’ve all felt a little bit guilty saving a few pennies buying from Amazon rather than our neighborhood independent bookseller. But what about Amazon employees—do they experience guilt when shopping at independent retailers rather than with their megastore employer? MobyLives speculates as to how hypothetical Amazonians might answer that question....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
The “40K in 40 days” campaign is raising money to open La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem. Contribute before October 24th, and every dollar invested will be matched by a donor.
“La Casa Azul Bookstore will sell new & used books, coffee, pastries, art, clothing and locally-made cards and gifts....more
Anybody who appreciates the community value of their local independent bookstore knows about the monetary pressure imposed by Amazon and internet-based competitors.
So if you really appreciate the value of independent booksellers and the literary community it supports, why shouldn’t you reciprocate?...more