The first time I set foot in "Bluestockings," I felt a rush of late 70's nostalgia. I instantly recalled the first gay bookstore I visited when I lived in Philadelphia, a clean, airy space, named "Giovanni's Room" after one of the titles of the iconic African-American gay writer, James Baldwin.
More Recommendations from Off the Shelf: In my bookstore, when I pull The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
I took a long time to get on board with the whole Kindle thing but once I did, I was all in. Yet I love my neighborhood bookstore (they serve wine!) and I try to patronize them as much as possible.
There is something irreplaceable about walking among shelves of carefully curated books, touching their spines, sliding the
I thought a book coming from an Amazon imprint would be like publishing "on steroids." But when I urged the publisher to
Amazon is rapidly expanding its online empire, but behind the conveniences that the company offers are a lot of hidden costs
Wouldn't it be great if we could figure this out? Most of us muddle through the dilemma, trying to get it right and every once in a while there is a beautiful day when it works. I find myself yearning for those moments since everything feels so high-speed, creating demands and the need to always be rushing.
We first met Melissa Cistaro when she pitched her book to us at a Pitchapalooza we did for Book Passage (one of America's great bookstores) in Corte Madera, California. We've been doing this so long we can usually tell when someone has a book in them and is capable of getting it out successfully.
One comment that followed one of the articles covering our story was from a man who said that Peggy and I were nothing more than two bored housewives trying to make owning a bookstore our hobby and quite likely it would never come to fruition. Obviously, he knew nothing about us.
Housing Works Bookstore Café, part of the Housing Works charity in New York City, which provides housing and other services to people living with HIV/Aids, perfectly exemplifies the answer. While walking into a generic big-box bookstore feels a lot like shopping at a slightly more expensive, slightly less convenient version of Amazon, walking into Housing Works feels worlds apart.
People who own indie bookstores and the people who work there are your neighbors trying their best to make a small business succeed. By spending your money there, you're keeping it in the community, and vibrant small businesses make vibrant towns.
Independent retailers might be on the verge of making a comeback. New data show locally owned stores are increasingly popular with shoppers, deliver more jobs and economic benefits than big retailers, and, in a few categories, like books and groceries, are now expanding in number for the first time in years.