Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Encouragement For Independent Bookstores

It's no secret that independent bookstores are fighting for their survival. As a writer who cares about books and bookstores for many different reasons, I was fascinated to see this story about The Poisoned Pen, an independent bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. It appeared in our local newspaper The Arizona Republic.

Unfortunately most of the news I've been reading in recent years has been about the downsizing or closing of independent bookstores--which used to be a thriving part of the publishing world and a place publishers and writers could depend to push their books out out to the public. The people who work in independent bookstores love books, read books and constantly recommend books to their customers. In the business, we call this "hand selling" a product. If you read this article, you will see that it’s still happening but much less than in the past. I found the article encouraging and celebrate this booksellers commitment to books.

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4 Comment:

At 1:40 AM, Blogger Rebecca Laffar-Smith Left a note...

It's wonderful to see any independant business still pushing to make headway in our heavily franchised industries. Here in Perth, Western Australia there are very few independant booksellers remaining. In fact, even the second hand bookstores are franchising and bookstores themselves, conglomerate or otherwise are becoming rarer. My hometown doesn't have one and I drive thirty minutes toward the city to get what I need.

I'm reminded of the enchanting story in "You've Got Mail!" The beautiful independant store folds under the pressure of the larger chain. People are losing one of the great pleasures involved in browsing and buying books. Stores lose their personal touch.

My preferred bookseller does still do personal recommendations. Sometimes I wish they had the staff available to make more of an impression on browsers. There are so many little steps that bookstores could take to increase sales but ultimately it involves reinspiring potential readers/buyers and creating an atmosphere where readers want to spend time browsing and building a collection of purchases.

At 5:30 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


What a terrific comment and wonderful insight! Thank you.


At 9:12 AM, Blogger Stef Left a note...

I love the "bookstores without walls" concept. What a great idea for The Poisoned Pen to handle area author appearances at libraries and schools. Wish I lived in AZ...

Stephanie Reed

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Amy Derby Left a note...

Every time I read a story about a bookstore I start longing for City Lights bookstore in San Francisco. I miss that place!

If I'm ever back in the area I'll have to visit Poisoned Pen.


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