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Posts tagged bookstore

Minimum wage hike puts San Francisco bookstore Borderlands Books out of business
February 4, 2015 | 6:52 am

BorderlandsBooks1Is the real danger to bookstores minimum wage hikes? News broke the other day that a beloved San Francisco bookstore, Borderlands Books, will be closing because it will no longer be able to operate at a profit. It was barely hanging on, but the recent minimum wage hike to $15 an hour would drive it into the red. In an explanation on its web site, Borderlands writes: Many businesses can make adjustments to allow for increased wages.  The cafe side of Borderlands, for example, should have no difficulty at all.  Viability is simply a matter...

Did Waterstones really see a shift back to print?
January 12, 2015 | 12:25 pm

WaterstonesThere's been quite a bit of pickup of the recent Financial Times story on Waterstone's, which supposedly supports a shift in UK reader appetite back towards printed books, where James Daunt, Waterstones CEO, said sales of which “disappeared to all intents and purposes”, according to James Daunt, chief executive. There are just a few flaws in the narrative, though. For one thing, Daunt also disclosed a 5 per cent physical book sales rise in December - yes, the height of the Christmas buying season. That's hardly a massive resurgence of interest in the printed book. And although further reporting in the FT...

One of Budapest’s loveliest bookshops: Rózsavölgyi és Társa
December 11, 2014 | 1:00 pm

IMG_20141202_182020 One of Budapest's most fascinating and attractive specialist bookshops, as well as the storefront for one of Hungary's largest music publishers, is Rózsavölgyi és Társa, just off the tourist thoroughfare of Váci utca and a major feature of the Rózsavölgyi House, itself an architectural monument. As the pictures indicate, this is mostly a music bookshop, with possibly the largest selection of sheet music available anywhere in the city. It also sells musical instruments and accessories of all kinds for performing and student musicians, as well as a huge selection of classical CDs and DVDs. However, for visitors and others, it has a big...

Taiwan brings back the bookstore
December 2, 2014 | 2:26 pm

According to a recent report in CNN, Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite is leading a renaissance of the bricks-and-mortar bookshop on the island, by focusing above all on the social experience of browsing and reading together. The chain facilitates this not only by a totally browser-friendly posture, but also by staying open 24 hours a day in some cases, and with cafes, gift shops, cultural events, and generally every means to make the stores social and cultural hubs as well as book marts. The chain is reportedly turning a healthy profit, fueled substantially by book sales. Barnes & Noble should take...

Indie bookstores doing fine: Now stop demonizing Amazon?
April 10, 2014 | 10:31 am

amazonSalon, rarely the most Amazon-friendly of venues, has just run another story on the state of the indie bookstore sector in the U.S., and found surprisingly positive trends. And naturally, being Salon, it saw fit to headline the report with a hit at Amazon like: "The independent bookstore lives! Why Amazon’s conquest will never be complete." In the article, Andrew Leonard picks up on the same kind of data that I instanced previously on the relative fortunes of indie bookstores and major book chains (Borders in particular, of course) in the era of digital disruption. "Brick-and-mortar bookstores aren’t dead, yet," he...

What would encourage eBook readers to switch platforms?
January 22, 2014 | 10:15 am

ebook buyersChris has already covered the Digital Book World article summarizing recent Codex Group research showing that 86% of eBook buyers buy from only one retailer. But I had a few thoughts he didn't cover. The article posited that the ease of infrastructure was the number one reason people stayed with a particular retailer, and that made sense to me. Although I don't currently own a Kindle device, I used to, and I'm pretty much "trained" to go back to Amazon, if for no other reason than it makes it easiest to keep track of what I've purchased. I'm usually good about adding...

Indie-published author seeks to buy St. Charles bookstore
January 8, 2014 | 8:15 am

mainstreetbooksHere’s an interesting story, care of Publishers Weekly. In the town where one of my brothers lives, St. Charles, Missouri, well-known bookshop Main Street Books will close at the end of the month if it cannot find a buyer. Small-press-published novelist and book blogger Brandi Schmidt is attempting to raise $15,000 by February 5 via an Indiegogo campaign in order to buy it and save it from shutting down. If she does buy it, Schmidt’s plans include adding a coffee shop to the bookstore, holding more author signings and events, and holding Skype conferences with authors who can’t attend...

Christmas Eve in a bookstore: How it used to be
December 24, 2013 | 12:58 pm

100326VaughnCarrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty Norville werewolf novels, has posted to her blog an amusing tale of the Christmas Eves she used to work in a bookstore, right after college. She explains that she actually loved working Christmas Eve, in spite of the conventional wisdom about holiday-season retail, because last-minute bookstore shoppers were generally very easy to please, and in miraculously helping them find exactly what she needed, she got to “[feel] like Wonder Woman.” Because bookstores are, for the most part, staffed by intelligent, well-read people who want nothing more than to foist vast...

Buying books? Don’t forget batteries!
December 12, 2013 | 8:30 pm

bookbatteriesBecause they’re not included... (Original picture on imgur.)...

Ada’s Technical Books shows how bookstores can survive in an e-book world
November 8, 2013 | 12:39 pm

adas-booksHere’s an interesting story about a Seattle bookstore that’s moving into new quarters—the quarters used by an old Seattle bookstore that moved. Ada’s Technical Books is moving into the old Horizon Books house. The article has plenty of interesting detail about the renovations made to the old house, including adding plenty of outlets for laptop use, but the part that I found most notable was this: [Co-owner and manager Danielle] Hulton had never worked as a bookseller before, and she credits Ada's success in part to her lack of experience in the field. She sounds...

Amazon Increases Minimum Order for Free Super Saver Shipping to $35
October 22, 2013 | 6:26 pm

You know how you could get “Free Super Saver Shipping” on qualifying Amazon items by ordering at least $25 per order? Those halcyon days are behind us now. Today, Amazon announced it is bumping the minimum order amount to $35. “This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US,” Amazon says, as if that makes it better. “During that time, we have expanded free shipping selection by millions of items across all 40 product categories.” And golly, if you sign up with Amazon Prime you still don’t...

The Future of the Traditional Bookstore
September 11, 2013 | 2:57 pm

Here's more digital ink being spilled on this topic: what should the bookstore do? With ebooks on the rise, print on the decline and increasingly, shelf space being occupied by non-book items, what is the bookstore to do? Michael Kozlowski thinks they should be making apps, to lessen their reliance on third parties like Google and Amazon. While I think he does fine work over at GoodeReader, I have to disagree with him on this one. We don't need more apps. We don't need more ecosystems. We don't need to fragment a not-quite-settled marketplace yet with still more stuff, for two...