Book Stores

What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For? Not much.

Excerpt from article at

Our attachment to independent bookshops is, in part, affectation—a self-conscious desire to belong a particular community (or to seem to). Patronizing indies helps us think we are more literary or more offbeat than is often the case. There are similar phenomena in the world of indie music fans ("Top 40 has to be bad") and indie cinema, which rebels against stars and big-budget special effects. In each case the indie label is a deliberate marketing ploy to segregate, often artificially, one part of the market from the rest. But when it comes to providing simple access to the products you want, the superstores often do a better job of it than the small stores do: Borders and Barnes & Noble negotiate bigger discounts from publishers and have superior computer-driven inventory systems. The superstores' scale allows them to carry many more titles, usually several times more, than do most of the independents; so if you're looking for Arabic poetry you have a better chance of finding it at Barnes & Noble than at your local community bookstore.

Later in the article is this: Spend more time in public libraries, which offer many of the best features of indie bookshops, including informed staff, diversity, and offbeat titles. Of course, public libraries aren't exactly atmospherically "cool." The clientele is often young children, women over 40, and retired men. I visit five public libraries on a regular basis, and each one makes me feel old. But they deliver the goods.

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Urban Think! in Orlando Now, but Soon to be Gone

Another indie (FL) bookstore is about to close...Urban Think! Kim, from the blog Bookstore People stopped by when visiting relatives and spoke with the owner whose news was not good news. From the blog:

While my nieces were destroying the children’s section (I love being the aunt and just watching them), I distracted Jim by asking how business was going. Not great. He mentioned how the locals would drop by, pick up a dog biscuit for their pooch, then recommend he carry a great book they loved and bought from Amazon. Ouch! I suggested he try the message I saw from the Capitola Book Cafe – just don’t buy ALL of your books from Amazon. Alas, even before I could post this review, the store announced it would be closing at the end of the month. Bookstore closings tend to trigger terrific sales, so stop by to say goodbye and purchase.


Baldwin's Book Barn - End of an era

Blog post at "Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie" about Baldwin's Book Barn being for sale.

Look at these great pictures on the Book Barn website:
A Walk Through the Barn


Secondhand Shops Supersize To Maximize Potential

Picture Caption: The Used Book Superstore in Nashua, N.H., occupies the space that once housed an electronics chain. The store has an inventory of 100,000 books that are organized on metal shelves.


Resale and thrift merchants around the country are growing by sticking to a simple business model: high volume, low cost of goods and cheap rent. The economic downturn created an opportunity these for-profit businesses to move into larger spaces once occupied by giant big-box stores.

Listen and read full story on NPR


Volunteers help move 150,000 books from condemned store

Volunteers help move 150,000 books from condemned store
A condemned building once full of books is now empty thanks to the helping hands of the community. Nearly 100 people helped Daughtry's Old Books on Front Street pack up Saturday.


American Enterprise, Chronicling the Creation of Barnes & Noble Bookstores

Saturday Night Live take-off on the significance of the creation of Barnes & Noble Bookstores...something that could apply equally to libraries, don't you think?

Borders Boots Out Man's Best Friend

The Borders bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor is dog-friendly no more reports OhMiDog.

After years of allowing dogs, the bookstore has decided to enforce the chain’s company-wide policy prohibiting pets from entering. “We prioritize the safety and happiness of our customers,” Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said. “We think that it’s important to put this particular store in line with our other stores, which currently only allow service dogs.” reports that the store’s general manager said she had “received a number of complaints about the dogs, some of which she described as ‘nasty,’” (meaning the complaints, I’m pretty sure, and not the dogs).

Borders declined to specify the nature of the complaints. At least one was made to county health authorities, who pointed out the store, since it houses a coffee shop, is licensed as a food service establishment.

Some patrons expressed sadness about the new no-dog policy.


Paperback Dreams, The Tale of Two Bookstores

A trailer from the documentary about the struggle of independent bookstores to survive in a big box/internet culture... Paperback Dreams.

Paperback Dreams Trailer from abeckstead on Vimeo.

Paperback Dreams is a co-production of Alex Beckstead, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and KQED Public Television, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Two Centuries of Books in a Pennsylvania Barn

Two Centuries of Books in a Pennsylvania Barn
What might differentiate his shop from America’s throngs of ailing independent bookstores are the architecture and the intentional chaos. On five floors antique fruit crates advertising brands like Boy Blue and Lake Gold help hold up 200,000 volumes published over the last 200 years.


Raven Used Books

Raven Used Books on Flickr. The picture has this caption - I like the sign but this is more about angles than the book store. (I think the picture has some very neat and subtle angles that play with your eyes)

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