Book Stores

Indie Bookshops are... Just Like Your Local Pub

Independent bookstores are the sober equivalent of your local bar: Not only does everyone know your name, they know what you like. Furthermore, they benefit the publishing business: “Independent stores are where innovation lies,” says Kent Carroll of Europa Editions. “They can still make best sellers. The chains didn’t come onboard until after the fact.”

Here is New York Magazine's listing of fourteen great NYC bookstores.

Tell us about a favorite store near you and why you like them... Remember to buy local during the holidays and support a business in your community.

Philly's Oldest Independent Book Seller Calls It Quits

Robin’s Book Store, a favorite haunt of the Philadelphia’s literati, announced last week that this will be its last holiday season. It will be closing up shop at the end of January. The city’s oldest independent book seller, Robin’s has long hosted poetry readings and autograph signings at 108 S. 13th Street. “Operating a book store was always a better hobby than a way to make a living, but now it’s impossible” writes Larry Robin in a news release. “Blame it on the Economy. Blame it on the Chain Stores. Blame it on the Internet.

Portrait of a Booklover

This one happens to be the owner of a used bookstore, but booklovers abound everywhere, and this article has a very good description of one.

DC Bookstore Helps a Zambian Library

Politics & Prose has launched an employee book drive to provide more than 4,000 titles for a new library that it's funding in Zambia. Jane Meyers, founder of the Lubuto Library Project , believed strongly that those books should come from an independent bookstore.

The result is a partnership between Dow Jones and Washington, DC's Politics and Prose Bookstore & Coffeehouse that will fill the indigenously styled library with titles carefully selected to provide educational opportunities to Zambia's street kids, orphans, and other at-risk children. Bookweb reports.

TX Bookstore Helping Three School Libraries After Hurricane Ike

Valerie Koehler, owner of Houston's Blue Willow Bookshop, has begun a nationwide book drive to restock the shelves in three school libraries that lost most of their collections due to Hurricane Ike.

With the help of store staff, area student organizations, and scout troops, Koehler hopes to collect more than a thousand books by December 1 to deliver to Anahuac High School, Alief Hastings 9th Grade Center, and Brazosport Intermediate School.

The specific needs of each school and ways to help are available on the Blue Willow Bookshop website's Hurricane Ike Library Relief page. Story from ABA's Bookselling This Week.

Another One Bites the Dust

Washington's literary community was recently dealt another blow with the shuttering of Olsson's Books & Records, the independent bookseller that for more than three decades catered to throngs of readers looking for a good book (and someone who could recommend one), the chance to meet an author or two, and a stellar music collection. Olsson's weathered the rise of the chain discounters and the surge of the superstores that followed, which claimed many of the city's most beloved book nooks. And that includes various Olsson's outposts, such as Georgetown and Bethesda that vanished years ago only to be followed by the opening of new locations as the company strived to serve its loyal customers.


Loyal Friends in London

Friends of the London (ON) Public Library turned 15 last month.

...great promotional image

In the coming months Friends will be offering two great opportunities for Londoners to pay equal homage to their library system. First is their gift to Londoners at their annual three-day book sale at the Western Fair’s Special Events Building Friday to Sunday, Oct. 24-26.

Then there’s the opportunity for Londoners to give back with the gift of literacy by donating to A Book For Every Child. The 2008 campaign begins on Nov. 8, which which most London bookstores offer a 20 per cent discount for books purchased and left at the store to be donated to the library and given to a deserving child. The Londoner.

Booksellers Asked to Encourage Authors to Ban Amazon.Com

Great Lakes Independent Booksellers were told by the association's outgoing president Carol Besse at their fall trade show October 3-5 that authors should disable any links they have on their websites to and "get out there in front" of store patrons to explain why consumers shouldn't buy from the online retailer.

Besse called for a "grassroots effort to re-educate every author they meet about the importance of buying books from independents rather than from She said it's a matter of survival and qualify-of-life for entire communities.

Olsson's Closes in DC

If you live in the Washington DC Metropolitan area and you love books, you've probably visited at least one of Olsson's Bookstores. But no more.

PW reports, as does the Washington Post: Olsson’s Books and Records has filed for liquidation under the chapter 7 bankruptcy laws and has closed its doors after 36 years selling books in the Washington D.C. area. All five of its current Washington D.C.-area stores have been closed. The firm applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July with plans to reorganize and cut costs by closing some of its stores. But a combination of low sales and rising rent was more than the DC metro-area indie chain could overcome. This is what's left of their website if you want to read their history or post a testimonial. RIP.

Literary Symbiosis in Lititz, PA

Aaron's Book Corner in Lititz, PA, has announced that it's teaming up with the Lititz Public Library to sponsor the first "Lititz Loves Reading" week. Events from October 20 - 26 include author appearances, library fundraisers, and an all-night "Read-a-Thon."

Happenings at Aaron's include a discussion of the Lititz One Book One Community selection, The Grace That Keeps This World by Tom Bailey (Three Rivers), and an appearance by local author Jill Althouse-Wood (Summers at Blue Lake, Algonquin). The weeklong celebration culminates in a Read-a-Thon on October 25.

"Lititz Loves Reading" week is inspired by a national program, Great Expectations 2008, founded by RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH. For the week, Aaron's customers will be able to support the mission of Lititz Public Library in two ways. First, for any customer presenting a Lititz library card while shopping at Aaron's Books, 10 percent of the purchase price will be donated to the library. Second, the library is supplying Aaron's Books with a "wish list" of most wanted books, and supporters can buy a book for the library through Aaron's Books at 25 percent below retail price.

Bookweb has the story.


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