Book Stores

Read Between the Lines

Pete writes "Wired columnist Tony Long laments the demise of the independent bookseller in this piece : "I can think of no reason why anyone within 10 miles of an actual bookstore would buy a book at Costco or Wal-Mart. Ever. The point is, the corporations and the internet have changed the commercial landscape in this country {ed note: and around the world) and for the worse. Independent booksellers are but one victim of this disturbing trend. Entertainment technology threatens the single-screen movie house and the local music store with extinction. Likewise, your local video rental store is also an endangered species. The corporatization of coffee annihilates small cafes, leaving us with the uniform blandness of Starbucks. The big losers are small merchants of almost every type, and those of us who see mom-and-pop businesses as the backbone of a healthy, vibrant community.""

Borders to Open in Mall of Emirates

If this doesn't convince you that the big-box chains have an international death-grip on ma and pa (i.e., independent) bookstores, nothing will...

Borders is opening a new store in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). A store is planned for Oman the following year. Wonder what books women will be able to purchase. Story from tradearabia.

Venerable NYC Bookstore, Coliseum Books Closing

birdie writes "From the New York Times , news that Coliseum Books, a Manhattan bastion of independent bookselling since the early 1970s, is apparently closing for good. "I believe we will simply disappear," George S. Leibson, a founder and co-owner, said yesterday in the store's second-floor office on 42nd Street opposite Bryant Park, as he composed a poster to inform customers that Coliseum had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. "The book business has changed a great deal," Mr. Leibson said.
The checkout line at Coliseum is often too small to make the store profitable. Many independent booksellers are in the same predicament."

Edmonton Bookstore Celebrates Fifty Years of Bookselling

Audrey's Books in Edmonton, established during the Alberta oil boom, was the first bookstore on the prairies...and is now proud to have reached the milestone of fifty years of bookselling. News of the celebration from VueWeekly.

Owner(s) Steve (and Sharon) Budnarchuk, who bought Audreys in 1988 commented, "We still work too many hours, can't always do as much as we want to, don't have as much staff as you like, but it's a good business to be in," he says with an easy smile. "Every day is like Christmas: you get to open boxes just full of books, and you get the joy of putting good books in the hands of good readers."

Keillor's Corner Books To Open Soon In St. Paul

Read all about it, it being Garrison Keillor's new bookstore in St. Paul, MN, "Corner Books" opening on November 1. Although he intends to play an active role in the store, Keillor isn't planning on leaving the shores of Lake Wobegon. "His first dedication is to A Prairie Home Companion," said Chris Livingston, who is coordinating the opening of the store.

Keiller found his new manager, Sue Zumberge, through an ad in craigslist. Zumberge says of the store, "It's going to be great," she said. "From my conversation with Mr. Keillor, it sounds like it's going to have a real Midwest flavor. There will be a wide selection of fiction, with a concentration of Midwest writers. It will really have the flavor of a neighborhood bookstore."

The used-book store of my dreams

In The Toronto Star James Grainer says The city's new breed of second-hand- book peddler is a former punk rocker.Whereas the used-book scene of the 1970s and '80s was dominated by, as Hanna puts it, "old hippies selling their cool stuff" in clusters of stores along Queen W. and Harbord, the new-model second-hand stores are run by old punk rockers selling their cool stuff in the newly hip neighbourhoods further west. (Babel co-owner Randy Harnett can attest to this trend: he's opened two locations of She Said Boom! Records & Book over the past decade, and three of his ex-employees, including Hanna, have opened combo book-record stores of their own.)

Profs. Send Their Students to the Non-Profit Indie Bookstore

Not only independent, Boxcar Books in Bloomington Indiana is also non-profit. And it's surviving through the determined effort of volunteers, the local community and the faculty, staff and students at Indiana University. In addition to selling books to students and featuring literature of smaller publishers, their goals are also to send literature free of charge to prisoners in the midwest and to provide a meeting space for community and literary groups. Here's a profile of the store from Indiana Daily Student.

Again, Gotham Book Mart in Need of Rescue

Anonymous Patron writes "New York Times: The Gotham Book Mart, one of New York's best known literary landmarks, was saved from closing only two years ago by two white knights who swooped down at the last minute and arranged the purchase of a $5 million building that would house its collection of rare books.

Now, the 86-year-old bookstore is in trouble again."

A New Bookstore for St. Paul, Courtesy of Our Prairie Friend, Garrison Keillor

"It's true", said Garrison Keillor, regarding his intention to open a bookstore (for Norwegian bachelor farmers et al?) in St. Paul, MN. Keillor first signaled his entrepreneurial intentions on his Prairie Home Companion's Web site in discussing what he did over his summer break (scroll down on the left). Among other things, the radio host said he turned 64, had surgery to prevent further strokes, got started on a novel and "decided to open a bookstore." Story from the Chicago Trib.

Good Bookstore News Post-Katrina

After being totally destroyed during Katrina, Pass Christian Books (MS) is reopening thanks to the generousity of a local woman, Martha Murphy, who is leasing affordable space to local businesses on the following conditions: "project tenants will pay minimum rent on a temporary basis, but must show they are trying to move back to the downtown area when space becomes available." Murphy wanted to "do something for the community".

Story from Bookselling This Week including pre- and post-Katrina pictures of the store.

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