Indies in action

I loved reading this piece from Publisher’s Weekly‘s blog section, which is written by bookstore owner, Josie Leavitt of The Flying Pig in Vermont, and talks about the pros of handselling books. I love her line, “Passion is what sells books.” It’s a sort of old fashioned way of doing it, but it seems so smart and obvious to have people who genuinely love books selling them and sharing their feelings about various books they love. And it’s so nice to see how it can actually translate to sales as evidenced by the sales of her own store.

What’s your favorite local bookstore, or did you have one growing up that you remember frequenting? There are so many big stores today, although fewer thanks to Borders recent filing for bankruptcy (see Michael’s post), but maybe this will make room for more independent stores to thrive (the power of positive thinking). I still love the smaller shops and try to give them my business where I can. Omnivore in San Francisco is a unique, inviting place specializing in food and drink books that I found while visiting my brother last year when a client of mine had a reading there. I loved Book Court in Cobble Hill when we lived in Brooklyn, and even here in New Jersey there are a couple of great ones, including Books & Greetings in Northvale and Acorns in Tenafly. We had my daughter’s 4th birthday tea party at Acorns, and it was one of the most lovely, intimate, and adorable parties I’ve ever been to. Highly recommended for anyone local!

5 Responses to Indies in action

  1. Lance Parkin says:

    I love bookshops. Little specialist ones, huge discount warehouses. Love them. Love finding books I didn’t know existed. Love bargains. Spent three hours in the Strand after a meeting with Jessica last summer.

    Here’s the problem: I’ve just started writing a book that needs me to buy other books for research. Pretty much all second hand ones, as they’re out of print, small press and so on.

    I’ve found just about everything on Amazon Marketplace, everything else on Bookfinder and two things on eBay. In most cases, I’m paying a penny and postage.

    For new books … well, it’s Amazon, Borders (with the coupons you get online that give you 30-50% off) and Book Depository for books from the UK (free international postage!).

    At no point did I even think it was worth going to any of the five or six second hand bookshops close by.

    I don’t know how a small bookshop can run now without being a front for an internet operation. Or a coffee shop with some books in it. In the end, the owner can be as friendly as they want, and as knowledgeable as they want … if there are better ways to get the book I need, I’m going to end up doing that.

    I’m sentimental about bookshops, I tend to be a locavore. But the internet has changed the market even more than the big chains did, and the bread and butter mass market stuff is already shifting to ebooks. My fuzzy ‘support’ for small local bookshops is not going to save them, what will save them is when, if someone wants a book, they think ‘I will find buy that from my local bookstore’.

    I’m not sure how that’s possible. It’s not Amazon that’s the rival, it’s their Marketplace. And, of course, no one who made that book get any money from that.

  2. Amy says:

    Shoutout to Porter Square Books! They have great books, great talks, great food, and great staff. Pretty much the whole package of greatness.

  3. Ryan Field says:

    I live in New Hope, Bucks County, PA. And we have Farley’s Book Store, which has been a destination for tourists for decades.

  4. Janet says:

    Circle Books in St. Armands, Florida. They’re very kind to local authors. :) Your posting reminded me of the movie “You’ve Got Mail,”(I’m sure every one of my English teachers cringed at that title.) where the big store put the little one out of business. Maybe the pendulum has swung as far as it can go and is slowly heading back. Maybe the closing of one of the biggies will make room for the independent book stores. One can hope.

  5. Type Faster says:

    I love Greenlight in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. They have arranged the books so well and in such a nice atmosphere that they almost look edible.

    I also love the Flying Pig — Elizabeth and Josie are old friends — but haven’t yet made it up to the new store.

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