Friday, February 15, 2013

Indie Bookstores, Part II

A continuation of January 15, 2013, Indie Bookstores, Part I.

In 2010, Poets & Writers magazine featured a series of articles titled "Inside Indie Bookstores," by Jeremiah Chamberlin. For each issue, Chamberlain reported "on the institutions that mean so much to the literary community," as he travelled the country interviewing owners of independent bookstores. Mr. Chamberlain introduced me to bookstores I wasn't aware of. For others, it was a better glimpse into what I already knew. It was all good, and I encourage you to read the series.

I followed the six installments with interest, as I was weaned on these small, one-of-a-kind, book shops. When it came time to carve a life of my own, I lived in Washington, D. C., and there took for granted the small, family-owned sanctuaries. In Georgetown, narrow Georgian houses accommodated floor levels of book shelves––creaking boards free. Later, I lived above DuPont Circle, an easy walk to Kramer's Books, which is still there. Working on Capitol Hill, I spent lunch hours in others. I fantasized that one day I would own a bookstore.

In today's posting, I gathered additional information for you, dear readers, to digest: Independent Bookstores Find Their Footing : NPR  Indie bookstores report strong sales for 2012They will be worth to consider in light of how Target, Wal-Mart, the big-box sellers, even grocery stores sell books, further dicing the book business. Independents are holding a competitive ground, and "community" is a big factor. Many bookshops feature exhibits, music, lectures, podcasts, free Wifi, blogs, and online shopping. Customers want the stores to succeed, and will do whatever they can to see that happen.

From sea to shining sea, Independent Bookstores live and breathe––with some older than others. When you travel, take time to visit them. If you're more comfortable with armchair travel in advance, walk through their web sites. You can shop for indie bookstores through: Charlesbridge or Indie Store Finder. Below I've provided a sampling to entice you.

Please let me know if you have one in your home town, and tell a few things about it/them.

Lower Downtown Store | Tattered Cover Book Store
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO
Kramer Books & Afterwards
1517 Connecticut Avenue, N. W.
Washington, D. C.

Creekside Books & Coffee
35 Fennell Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152  
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenie
Coral Gables, FL

161 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY
    talking leaves books
Talking Leaves Books
951 Elmwood Avenue
3158 Main Street
Buffalo, NY

White Birch Books
White Mountain Hwy
N. Conway, NH

Parnassus Books
3900 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215