Bookstores We Love: Episode 1

September 10, 2010

Hey, Welcome to Bookstores We Love. We’ll be doing this on a ‘whenever the mood strikes’ basis, but we have a lot of love for indie bookstores, so expect to see a lot of posts like this in the future. We wanted to call attention to the bookstores that inspired us as we gear up for the launch of our own little shop, The Paper Cave.

During last year’s Dollar Store Summer Tour I had the enviable job of booking 7 readers in 11 cities across the country. Some towns we knew we wanted to hit. Home towns, fun towns. Austin, Texas where featherproof author Amelia Gray lives, and I used to. Atlanta, where Blake Butler is from. New Orleans, because New Orleans is awesome. But then there were the towns in-between. One of the big question marks was Houston. Nothing against Houston, I know a lot of nice folks from there, but we weren’t sure what kind of literary scene might be happening there. I started the usual round of calls to indie bookstores, looking for a spot, and eventually someone said “You sound like Domy people.”

I called up Russell at Domy, and he was good people indeed. The store’s site looked great, and they made a nice little write up for our event. When we got there, things were even better. I was honestly blown away at the awesomeness of Domy. They have a really great, eclectic collection of books on art, design, graffiti, counter-culture, crazy culture, and everything in-between. There are artist books and robot toys. The entire store is white, which gives it a gallery feel, and I have to say: the collection is very well curated. As well as the art! They have regular art shows with all sorts of awesome art-makers, and reading events.

Our reading was a lot of fun. We had a good crowd, and read to them out on the patio which was a great place for a reading. We caught a few people hanging out, reading and enjoying snacks from the cafe next door, and added our own group, there to see the reading. We had a big wooden porch, which we turned into a stage for a night. Domy offered us a reading discount, and we emptied our pockets. They bought a lot of our books to sell in the shop after we had gone as well. All around, a great place to have a reading, and a great discovery in Houston!

This past summer, during my annual pilgrimage to Austin, I had the chance to visit Domy Houston’s new sister store, Domy Austin, which has been open for just a year or two. Already it looks and feels amazing, with another creative mix of local and international printed matter. Austin definitely has its own vibe, with less toys and more DVDs, but the same Domy awesomeness is definitely to be found. Russell, who moved to Austin to open the Domy store, was kind enough to show Ally and I around, and we browsed and took photos and talked shopped until we had to run to the airport.

Two great bookstores deep in the heart of Texas! Recommended for all who live there, and any who visit.

Advertisements

Posted by Nick Sarno

 

facade-lello-bookstorecramped-bookstore-calcuttalello-bookstore-porto

Go here for more interesting bookstores. Speaking of bookstores, The Boston Globe has a story about how independent bookstores are thriving, while giants like Borders are flatlining.

Amazon buys AbeBooks

December 4, 2008

Posted by Nick Sarno

 

AbeBooks is an online marketplace which give independent bookstores a chance to compete with the megastores. Or at least it was, until it was purchased by a megastore. Amazon announced that it would acquire Abe back in August and the deal has gone through. There has been a lot of talk about what this means for the independent book community and, to sum it up, it ain’t good. Book Patrol has a good article about the ins and outs of Amazon’s purchase of Bibliofind in 1999, and what we can expect from the new deal.

 

In the meantime, should any of our books strike your fancy, buy them here, okay?

Paperback Dreams

October 17, 2008

Posted by Nick Sarno

 

From http://paperbackdreams.com/index.php/about/the-film/:

 

PAPERBACK DREAMS is the story of two landmark independent bookstores and their struggle to survive. The film follows Andy Ross, owner of Cody’s Books, and Clark Kepler, owner of Kepler’s Books, over the course of two tumultuous years in the book business.

In the last decade, competition from big chains and the internet has put booksellers in a vice. Half the independent bookstores in America closed in the 1990s. But in the 1960s, bookstores like Cody’s and Kepler’s redefined intellectual life, democratized literature, and helped launch a counterculture. Publishers were putting the classics into cheap paperback editions for the first time. Literature—once the purview of academics and elites—was suddenly affordable for the masses. Most established booksellers dismissed the new editions as drugstore pulp. Their indifference allowed a new kind of store to emerge, and it opened the door to a new breed of bookseller.

 

Check out the website for more information, trailers, and broadcast dates. And then read the article in Publishers Weekly. And then, for goodness’ sake, go to your local independent bookstore and buy some books!