Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Value of Bookstores

This is so true, and I delight that it is from my favorite Monty Pythoner, the adorable Michael Palin:

"There's nothing that lifts the spirits of this author like a good
local, independent bookshop. Through all the recent ups and downs of
bookselling, the best of the independents have shown the way forward,
championing that personal connection between shops, readers and authors
that is the life blood of the trade."

--Michal Palin,
author and Monty Python legend, speaking to the Daily Mail in support of
the Hive Network of indie retailers in the U.K.

And more on the value of a good community bookstore, something I feel is greatly lacking in Maple Valley:

In "Ode to the Bookstore,"
the Daily Beast's John Avlon wrote that "if you care about the unique
character of your community, if you believe in rewarding the rugged
independence of small businesses, then your local independent bookstore
deserves your support, now more than ever. This is an admittedly
counter-cultural effort--but that is part of its appeal and sense of

Avlon recommended a number of his favorite indies coast to coast, but
noted that "beloved as all these might be, you don't need a crystal ball
to see that independent bookstores are going to have to at least adjust
their business model to remain relevant in the face of new technology."

He cited Mitch Kaplan's Books & Books
stores in the Miami area as the "best model I've seen" because they "are
now built around cafes and outdoor courtyards, where friends meet for
coffee in the morning or a drink after work. Local musicians play and
nationally known authors read, as free concerts open to the public. It
is an expanded version of the old coffeehouse model--beer and wine is
served along with good food--and buying a book becomes a backdrop, an
essential organic part of the overall experience."

Avlon also showcased "a gallery of some of the great and iconic
independent bookstores
across the United States. Seek them out. Support and appreciate them.
Rally round their flag because they make your city or town a better
place to live by keeping the soul of the great good place alive."

This is about a new bookstore in Seattle, the Book Larder, a place where food and books meet, and considering how fond I am of both, I should visit, soon!

"What began as a dream of local literary force Kim Ricketts has been
realized by Lara Hamilton, who took over Kim Ricketts Book Events before
its beloved founder passed away," Eater
wrote about this week's opening of the Book Larder, Seattle, Wash.

In addition to featuring a photo tour of the space, Eater noted that
"local chefs, home cooks, food nerds and bibliophiles have been eagerly
anticipating the arrival" of the new shop, which "evokes the same
giddiness as San Francisco's Omnivore Books, but with the savvy addition
of a kitchen and demonstration area."

Hamilton told the Seattle Times that she wants the Book Larder "to be a place where people can gather and linger, where if we're not too busy, someone might offer you a cup of tea or
something we've been cooking from a book."

And finally, our locale titan of industry,, has launched a new imprint, specifically for SF/F, my favorite genre:

Amazon has launched its seventh publishing imprint, 47North, which focuses
on science fiction, fantasy and horror. The imprint will debut with 15
books, including The Mongoliad: Book One, the beginning of a five-book,
collaborative Foreworld series led by Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear.

Also,the Warner Bros. 3D film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great
Gatsby will open December 25, 2012. reported that director Baz
Luhrmann began filming his adaptation last month in Australia. The movie
stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan,
Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and Elizabeth Debicki.

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