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Vivs Ngo snapped this wonderful shot of Los Angeles's Last Bookstore, an exuberant temple of the bookseller's faith.

Crowdfunding a new location for Phoenix's wonderful Changing Hands bookstore

Safwat sez, "After unsuccessfully trying to sell nude photos on Craiglist (Watch the project video to learn more about that!), Moby-Dick, Frankenstein's monster AND Gregor Samsa turn to crowdfunding to help Changing Hands Bookstore build a new indie bookstore in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. There's some pretty funny and one-of-a-kind classic-literature based t-shirts, prints and greeting cards up for grabs."

I spoke at Changing Hands on my last book tour and not only were the staff kind and knowledgeable, the store was spectacular. What's more, it was clearly a hub for a community of active readers in Phoenix. They certainly deserve your support! The t-shirts/posters are fab, too. Prints start at $10, tees at $30, and you can get all five tees (and support an amazing bookseller) for $140.

Frank 'N Moby Build a Bookstore (Thanks, Safwat!)

Indie bookstores on the rise


The number of members of the American Booksellers' Association is slowly creeping up, a welcome sign after a steep decline from 5500 members in 1995 to 2191 in 2002. ABA is comprised of indie booksellers, and though the dominant narrative has it that the indies were slaughtered by Amazon, the numbers suggest that the decline had more to do with the rise of the big-box chain-stores (ironically, these are dead [Borders] or dying [B&N] and were almost certainly killed by Amazon).

More interesting is why the number of indie bookstores is growing:

Read the rest

How the Strand sells print books to ebook readers


Avi Solomon snapped this pic of the window display at NYC bookstore The Strand lauding the virtues of their "Real books priced lower than ebooks," including the fact that you can read them during take-off and landing.

Real Books... (via Boing Boing Flickr Pool)

Bookstore in a train-car


Here's a mouth-watering set of photos from La caverne aux livres, a bookshop in Auvers-Sur-Oise, north of Paris. The store is in a converted train-car, and appears to be a magical wonderland. The pics were taken by the Gallifreyan Detective, and the whole set is wonderful.

An old train transformed into a book shop in Auvers-sur-Oise (via That Book Smell)

Great old indie bookstore in St Louis faces demolition as town considers proposal to site an industrial storage facility on its lot


Thorne sez, "I grew up in a bookstore in a 150 year old Victorian mansion in Rock Hill, St. Louis. I lived in an upstairs room until I was about 10, and we needed the space for more books. This weekend a demolition crew came into my family's store to take measurements for a proposed demolition. An out of state company wants to build an industrial storage facility on this location. This has been an operating independent family business for 30 years and I'm posting it because I believe this type of development needs attention. A friend started a change.org petition over the weekend. Also - it's haunted."

Apparently, the landlord is an "older guy who just wants to sell the property," and the real leverage point here is whether the city grants permission for the demolition and the storage facility.

City of Rock Hill, Missouri: Stop the tear-down and redevelopment of The Book House [Change.org]

Book House Issues Call To Stave Off Eviction [Publishers Weekly]

Innovative MIT-area bookstore needs fresh owner, ideas


Lorem Ipsum books, a bookstore in Cambridge, Mass, is up for sale. Cambridge is one of the great bookselling towns of the world, and Lorem Ipsum was founded as a project by an MIT Media Lab grad named Matt Mankins, to explore sustainable business-models for brick-and-mortar bookselling. Now Mankins has moved to NYC to be CTO of a big magazine publisher, and he's taken to Hacker News to solicit buyers and ideas for the store (which is losing money).

I started Lorem Ipsum Books 9 years ago with the belief that bookstores were an important part of our community--and that they needed to innovate in order to survive.

Freshly out of graduate school at MIT the bookstore was started with the notion that integrating Internet-sales into a traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore was the way forward for small retailers. Rather than run from technology, we were going to embrace it to provide a new sales channel. With a group of friends I built this new way forward, creating Lorem Ipsum Books in Inman Square, Cambridge.

Lorem Ipsum benefited from a custom-coded inventory system that automatically listed our inventory for sale at other online partners like Amazon.com. It was fun to use, efficient, and worked. For awhile there, it looked like this dual-listing was the answer to bookstore's problems. Then supply-ballooned, demand remained the same, and prices dropped.

We tried many things, but were unable to get the store from red to black.

They just deleted our Wikipedia page, citing progress as being 'unremarkable'. Clearly something has to be done...

It's time to innovate again.

The bookstore needs fresh ideas, a radical change in thinking, and a reimagining of the role of the bookstore in the future. I don't want to shut the store down, but may be forced to. Instead, I'm looking to pass the store to other keepers--other innovators--hands.

Cambridge bookstore, founded as an online/offline hybrid, takes to web to look for new owner (Thanks, kingLuma!)

Goodbye letter from Borders employee(s) (?) spills secrets of bookselling trade


A large handwritten poster (purportedly) from a laid-off employee of the defunct bookselling chain Borders entitled "Things we never told you: Ode to a bookstore death," reveals several key truths of bookselling (and some cranky griping):

Things we never told you: Ode to a bookstore death

• We hate when a book becomes popular simply because it was turned into a movie.

• We greatly dislike the phrase "Quick Question." It's never true. And everyone seems to have one.

• We always knew when you were intently reading Better Homes and Gardens, it was really a hidden Playboy.

• It NEVER bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We'd rather you do if you're putting up a stink.

• "I was just here last week and saw this book there" meant nothing to us. The store changed once a week.

• Oprah was not the "final say" on what is awesome. We really didn't care what was on her show or what her latest book club book was. Really.