A Chapter in The Indie Bookstore Saga: Kepler's Books

There's a great independent bookstore in Menlo Park (CA), Kepler's, now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

As another chapter in the story of how it's going for the independents (see Counterpoint: Chain Bookstores), here's an article about Kepler's at age fifty .

By the way, Kepler's like most indies, will sell any book via the internet (you don't have to live in Menlo Park), so Amazon is NOT your only alternative.


Counterpoint: Chain Bookstores

Counterpoint: Chain Bookstores - Work Magazine Issue #1 (Work magazine is a quarterly analysis of the U.S.A.'s work culture and its influence over the world.)"Chain Bookstores", by Paula Katz, looks at her job as a lowly retail clerk at a local, independent bookstore. She says a "corporate" atmosphere can be created anywhere; it's not just about the size of the store or the profit margins.Because money has become the only thing the store worries about, the employees are left feeling unappreciated. The smart ones leave, and the ones who stay, lose interest in making the store a better place.

"Eventually this bookstore will fail. But what is most frustrating is witnessing myopic business practices that should be reserved for huge corporations being put into practice in what should be a haven for customers and employees alike."

Hawkers' novel idea: a books-only zone

Anonymous Patron writes "From Mid-Day Mumbai - Bombay,India The 45-odd booksellers lining the artery from Churchgate to Flora Fountain were evicted by the BMC on May 6.

The BMC swooped down on the booksellers and carted off nearly a lakh books saying they were acting on court orders and that the pavement was a no-hawking zone.

Angry over the treatment, the evicted booksellers say they want the government to designate a book zone in the city, dedicated to booksellers."


ProQuest CFO resigns?

An Anonymous Patron writes "ProQuest Company has added a news release to its
Investor Relations website.
Title: ProQuest Company Announces Resignation of Chief
Financial Officer

Date: 5/6/2005 5:00:00 PM

For a complete listing of ProQuest News Releases, Please go
to this url:"


Going Under Cover with Book Search Tools

The great and powerful Gary Price has a good one over at Search Engine Watch: Going Under Cover with Book Search Tools. Google, Amazon and others offer really useful "search inside the book" tools, but they're not always the easiest features to use. He takes a closer look at getting the most from online book search services.


Waging war against `the McDonald's of books' in Israel

Anonymous Patron writes "A paper from Israel, Haaretz Reports, here and there around the country, courageous - and, of necessity, creative - attempts are being made by small bookstore owners to survive in the face of the large chains. The proprietors of the small shops are calling for book buyers to leave the beaten track sometimes and to just come into their shops for a moment. Even if the book costs a bit more, in the final reckoning - which isn't a financial reckoning - it pays off. "Books are like friends, they give us wings.""


A reluctant farewell to Blackbird Books

The Nashua Telegraph, (NH) has a short report on the closing of another indy book seller. Give Maggie Hinkle and her staff an A for striving to operate a small bookstore in downtown Nashua. Unfortunately, Blackbird Books and Cafe will close at the end of the month for lack of sufficient patronage.


The Globe and Mail: Literary gem to cut staff, book list

One of Canada's literary gems, The Porcupine's Quill, Inc., received word Tuesday morning that the country's booksellers had nominated the Erin, Ont.-based publisher for a Libris Award in the Small Press Publisher of the Year category.

Ironically, the nomination has come at a time when the press is planning drastic measures -- reducing its staff, cutting its publishing list in half -- just to stay in business.
More from The Globe and Mail


Shop till you drop for books at this store

Anonymous Patron writes "The Hindustan Times - India takes a look at The Hindi Book Centre, in New Delhi. Anil Varma, one of the three brothers who owns the store, claims it is the only bookstore that sells titles from over 500 Hindi publications, the largest in country.

The bookstore stocks Indian publications in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Gujarati. Books published in local dialects can also be found.

These are especially sought by the United States Library of Congress for research scholars in the US universities."

Topic: Knows, Predicts Shopping Habits

One From The AP on Inc., who they say has one potentially big advantage over its rival online retailers: It knows things about you that you may not know yourself. Though plenty of companies have detailed systems for tracking customer habits, critics and boosters alike say Amazon is the trailblazer, having collected information longer and used it more proactively. It even received a patent recently on technology aimed at tracking information about the people for whom its customers buy gifts.



Subscribe to Vendors