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Blogger Pete writes: "there are more great book covers published each year than there are great books published each year."
This, and some other interesting observations about BAD COVERS, GREAT BOOKS at San Francisco's Green Apple Books blog, the Green Apple Core. Chime in with your observations...
Last week I posted a story about the closing of College Park Maryland's Vertigo Books("Shopping Online is Seductive, But..."), and later pointed out a column by the Washington Post's Marc Fisher on the store's demise.
At the end of Fisher's column, he polled his readers asking "What's your obligation as a customer to support local bookstores?" As of today, Bookselling This Week reports the results were as follows:
* Some--if they create an enriching place, I'll pay somewhat higher prices to support them -- 43%
* Serious--great local bookshops are foundations of community, well worth the price to keep alive -- 31%
* None--they either win me over on price and service or they deserve to die -- 12%
* Don't know--locally-owned bookstores already vanished from where I live -- 12%
Which category do you fit in? Do you still have a great indie bookstore near you? Tell us about it, with a link if you'd like.
Twilight has turned to retail darkness for Stephenie Meyer's bestselling vampire series at Deseret Book, a small chain owned by the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The bulk of Deseret Book's business comes from the sale of church-related titles; interestingly, author Meyer is a member of the Mormon church.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported the company will no longer stock the books on shelves in its chain stores, though it will special order the titles for store pick-up or mail delivery. "We're never really given a reason for these things," said Steve Hartvigsen, manager of the Deseret Book store in West Valley City, Utah. "We just get a return sheet and send books back."
Blog entry at Bookfinder about buying used books for Earth Week.
There is this line in the blog entry: There are times when I have to buy a book new, sometimes I just can't wait to read a new authors work, or when I was in school I could not always find the textbooks I wanted used; but with used books being both better for the environment and easier on your pocketbook I think it is an easy decision to make.
Note: Someone has to buy the new books or there won't be any used books.
On the radio program "The Story" there was this piece:
As the recession continues, many businesses that were barely surviving before are finally closing their doors. Milwaukee’s Harry W. Schwartz Books is a recent recession casualty. Co-owner Carol Grossmeyer had to shut the doors a couple of weeks ago. But there’s an upside. Carol was able to sell one of the locations to former manager Lanora Hurley.
Despite the credit crunch, Lanora was able to secure a loan from a bank that’s awash in stimulus money. Her store, Next Chapter Bookshop, is now open. Carol and Lanora talk with Dick Gordon about closing one chapter of their lives and opening a new one.
Download MP3 of show here.
The Story web page
The next domino in the line is toppling after seventeen years, suburban Washington DC's Vertigo Books.
Their website bids their customers farewell, invites them to an Irish-style wake, and invokes the basic economic facts about independent community bookstores v. online chains.
As we have said before, your shopping dollars help create the community you want to live in. For every $10 you spend at locally-owned businesses, $4.50 stays in our community. The math is simple and compelling: Vertigo Books $4.50//Barnes & Noble/Borders/Costco $1.30//Amazon $0.00.
In a subsequent bookstore blog post titled, "Amazonfail & The Cost of Freedom" Vroman's observed that "independent publisher sales rep John Mesjak put it best when he tweeted this statement: 'I haven't read all of #amazonfail, so I am likely repeating, but my takeaway: this S#!T happens with monoculture gatekeepers. "
The independents will return and the influence of the old 600-pound gorilla big boxes will die off like dinosaurs.
Why? Because tribes don’t care much about where “everyone” goes or what “everybody” is doing–which is what the big boxes rely on. Tribal “members” believe the tribe is the best source of information, and that their cause is paramount. The big boxes won’t have what they want. Big boxes bet their farms on what “everybody” will find appealing; appealing to niches can’t pass the P & L.
Signs on the doors of two Coolidge Corner bookstores told a tale challenging the conventional wisdom. The one at Barnes & Noble said "Closed." The one on the independent Brookline Booksmith welcomed the chain's customers and solicited their suggestions. Now, three months after Barnes & Noble departed, Booksmith savors modest growth in the midst of a recession that's battering most retailers. Boston.com.
"I do think there's a swing back to valuing local and independent," said Booksmith manager Dana Brigham. "Small and local can be good places to do business and very healthy for your community."
Customer Paul Toomey, a 40-year-old banker perusing Lonely Planet's guide to Africa said "I like the idea of supporting a local store. It doesn't feel like a McDonald's when you walk in."
It's not all bacon.
Photographic fragments of Forgotten bookmarks, ranging from invitations, to greeting cards to notes-to-self. The blog author 'works at a used and rare bookstore, and buys books from people everyday. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things found in those books.'