Tag Archives: Bookstores

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Novelist Fights the Tide by Opening a Bookstore

NYT – “After a beloved local bookstore closed here last December and another store was lost to the Borders bankruptcy, this city once known as the Athens of the South, rich in cultural tradition and home to Vanderbilt University, became nearly barren of bookstores. A collective panic set in among Nashville’s reading faithful. But they have found a savior in Ann Patchett, the best-selling novelist who grew up here. On Wednesday, Ms. Patchett, the acclaimed author of “Bel Canto” and “Truth and Beauty,” will open Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore that is the product of six months of breakneck planning and a healthy infusion of cash from its owner.”

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Her Life Is a Real Page-Turner

NYT – “TO keep her independent bookstore not only solvent but thriving (revenue is racing ahead of last year by 16 percent), Sarah McNally has a limitless supply of small tricks up her sleeve. And a whirring, wheezing behemoth at her side. At the determinedly Wi-Fi-free McNally Jackson Books on Prince Street in NoLIta, customers can lie on a chaise longue, reading potential purchases from a selection of 55,00 volumes. The store is known for its 8,300-title literature collection, organized by geography.”

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Bookstore destroyed by tsunami returns under tent due to popular demand

Mainichi Daily News – “On a Sunday afternoon over half a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami devastated towns on March 11, local residents visiting a makeshift bookstore here were picking up books with an eager look. The sight of the tented bookstore would have been something unimaginable before the deadly quake and tsunami hit Kesennuma, which had hosted a burgeoning large-scale bookstore.”

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Can an Online Bookstore Be a Community Bookstore?

Big Think – “Is the frequently drawn distinction between online bookstores (efficient, convenient, innovative) and traditional bookstores (old-fashioned, communal, curated) a false one? This fall, Molly Gaudry and her fellow staff at The Lit Pub are trying to prove that it is. Billing itself as “an online bookstore that hand-picks and recommends books,” The Lit Pub was founded earlier this year and has recently relaunched with an effusion of bookish joy. (“From our hearts to yours!”) The site features staff-written reviews of select books and literary magazines, as well as a prominently displayed honor roll of publishers whose books it offers. Since many of these publishers are themselves small independent outfits, there’s a strong spirit of mutual support at work in the enterprise. A detailed explanation of the Pub’s business model is available on their FAQ page.”

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The efforts to save St. Mark’s Bookshop, by the numbers

LA Times – “More than 36,000 have signed an online petition to try and save St. Mark’s Bookshop in Manhattan. The store has been a fixture in the East Village, at various locations, since 1977. Now rising real estate prices may force it into extinction.”

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Bookstore’s closing leaves a hole in ‘postmodern Mayberry’

LA Times – “Flip back in time to downtown Los Angeles nearly five years ago — before tiny dogs were everywhere and fancy strollers anywhere, before you could walk 10 minutes south of City Hall and find cafe after cafe serving lattes. Picture living in a loft on a quite lonely stretch of Main Street on the edge of skid row, short on the necessities that most residential areas take for granted. Then imagine one day finding a new store full of crisp hardcovers. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, we’re civilized,’ ” said Jacqualine Mills-Lord, a writer who shed tears of joy at the sight of Metropolis Books.”

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Serendipity Books, R.I.P.

NYT – “California, with a colossal hole in its budget and 12 percent unemployment, is confronting this quandary as it tries to compel Amazon.com to collect sales tax. Amazon is so confident that bargain-hunting consumers will rally to its side that it is essentially ignoring the law. Maybe they will. But as the battle between the state and the retailer was heating up late last week, news came that Serendipity Books in Berkeley was closing. Antiquarian stores like Serendipity were once plentiful. They specialized in winnowing the detritus of the past, plucking the important material for collectors, scholars and institutions. Serendipity was for decades one of the best such shops, and eventually one of the last. In the years to come, people will have a hard time appreciating there were such places, where anyone who wanted to could look and learn and buy, or maybe just while away a rainy afternoon. So let’s spend a moment giving Serendipity its due.”

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PLEASANT PARADOX

posted in the New Yorker blog.

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As stores die, so does book culture

Boston Globe – “THE LIQUIDATION of Borders Books, announced last week, is like the death of an unlikely friend – unlikely because Borders was itself implicated in the slow-motion degradation of the culture of the book. The story began in 1971, when brothers Tom and Louis Borders, students at the University of Michigan, established a book shop in Ann Arbor. They were among the first to grasp the potential of digital technology, inventing software that revolutionized how inventories were tracked. Borders became a book-selling powerhouse. The company proved insufficiently nimble, though, when online ordering – via Amazon or the Barnes & Noble website – transformed the point of sale, and digital files – via Kindle, Nook, or iPad – replaced paper publication entirely. The technology that made Borders boom ultimately killed it.”

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