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From the Bookfinder.com Journal. My wife and I spent our 4th of July weekend in Portland, Oregon. She's a landscape architect, designing parks, school playgrounds, and other public projects; she wanted to check out Portland's public art and green spaces. I'm a book junkie; all I wanted to see was Powell's. Continued here.
The Des Moines Register reports the closing of the cooperative bookstore Big Table Books in Ames after thirteen years of operation. Bookstore shareholder Steve Pett sold shares to 156 investors to start things up in 1992, but now Pett and the members of the coop consider the store's demise as another casualty in the war against the behemoth price-busting corporations.
An Anonymous Patron writes "Starbucks moves into the book market
A "lifelong reader," Lesley Williams works at a public library in the Charlotte and Mecklenberg county system, maintains her own literary blog and has just started, with help from her husband Mike, Bookwormzonline, a site that lists independent bookstores in the U.S., including those that are not members of the American Booksellers Association .
Since May, when Williams left her work at an ad agency, she's been at PLCMC. She also maintains a blog, A Life In Books . For her, the new site is a labor of literary love. "Books and reading have always been a part of my life," she said. "And I'd like to share that with others."
Anonymous Patron writes "Rutland Herald reports on another indy store closing, this time in Rutland,VT. The outdoor book bins that were a visible calling card for the business at 28 South Main St. are now empty. So, too, is the large red building with its inventory of 40,000 books. A Rutland institution for 174 years, Tuttle Antiquarian Books closed its doors last month; a victim of technology. "The reason for closing was the effects of the Internet," Jon Mayo said Wednesday while watching workers load books onto a truck bound for Maine. "We think that's what did us in.""
Anonymous Patron writes "The Daily Californian: During its 43-year run, Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue has been a Berkeley institution, serving both students and community members and hosting readings from world-renowned authors.But today Cody's will close its doors for the last time. Citing a 15-year downward trend in profits, Cody's owner Andy Ross said he can no longer afford to keep his flagship location open."
Anonymous Patron writes "MSNBC.com: Independent bookselling is a business prone to nostalgia it can ill afford. Those booksellers who recognize that location trumps sentiment are the ones opening new places. Ross came to San Francisco; Neal Sofman, a co-owner of A Clean Well Lighted Place, has opened Bookshop West Portal, and Books Inc. will take over the former Clean Well Lighted Place spot in September. Elaine Petrocelli is in negotiations to open a third location of Corte Madera's Book Passage in a Novato development that will include Whole Foods. Chains are not the worst of it"
The End of Authorship is an essay by John Updike over at the NY Times. "Booksellers, you are the salt of the book world. You are on the front line where, while the author cowers in his opium den, you encounter â€” or "interface with," as we say now â€” the rare and mysterious Americans who are willing to plunk down $25 for a book. Bookstores are lonely forts, spilling light onto the sidewalk. They civilize their neighborhoods. At my mother's side I used to visit the two stores in downtown Reading, Pa., a city then of 100,000, and I still recall their names and locations â€” the Book Mart, at Sixth Street and Court, and the Berkshire News, on Fifth Street, in front of the trolley stop that would take us home to Shillington."
Anonymous Patron writes "Another one on the Indys closing: ContraCostaTimes.com: Ross and many other independent booksellers in the Bay Area share a common lament over a grim or nonexistent future for some of the most cherished havens for book lovers and strongest venues for visiting authors. Many cite Amazon.com and the proliferation of big chain bookstores. But there are other factors, they say, that have piled straw on the backs of businesses that face thin profit margins and stiff competition from discounters. They range from the dot-com blowup to bad city planning, to a societal turn toward laptop literacy."