1. Just read your post “Surviving in the Book Business: An Authors Fair” with great interest. Books and independent bookstores are near and dear to my heart because of my late parents’ unique and groundbreaking rare book search service, “International Bookfinders.” In the pre-fax, pre-email, pre-internet days, their company’s advertising slogan “You name it, We find it” was practically a guarantee of finding the right book for the right price. Some of your readers might find their story an interesting one. I’ve written up a short bio and Greg Kindall, the host of the “Seven Roads” website was nice enough to put it up online. (Feel free to explore the rest of his fascinating website. Bibliophiles will find lots of interesting ephemera there, as well as a really cool feature on old book trade labels.)

    Here’s the link:

  2. I share your feelings about the plight of the book business in this country, knowing that the instrument I’m typing on has been a major contributor to said plight. Here in my neck of the woods (i’m about 45 minutes from Portland, Me. and an hour and a-half from Boston), Portland has a store called Book-A-Million that has moved into the premises formerly housing Borders’s late, and very much missed, book & music store. There’s not much else, particularly vapid old Boston’s jazz “scene.” Oh well – live and let die- seems the ongoing credo! Enjoyed the Sinatra & Novak video.

  3. “Inklings” is a great name for a bookstore and for the supporters thereof.
    There’s a place for the electronic store and book. But not to replace
    ink, Gutenberg, and those who have an inkling of the magic of turning a page of narrative.

    Somewhere Tolkien’s little group is still smiling. And G.K. Chesterton’s words are wiser than ever:

    “Literature is a luxury. Fiction is a necessity.”

  4. A brick and mortar store is useful to me if it supports me, and I do my best to support those that do. I won’t look at a product in a local store and buy it online — if they have it, they get the sale. With books, support means introducing me to new things, or older things I”ve missed. Santa Cruz, CA, my adopted home, has two large book stores, both of them independent.

    Bookstore #1 sells mostly new books, but has an active used book section, which I browse every time I pass by, typically every week or so, and I rarely leave without a book or two, or three, mostly fiction. But their selection of ANY books about jazz is paltry (three books on a good day, rarely of interest), and I rarely see a book of any sort there that I didn’t already know about. “We can order it,” they say, when I ask about something I’ve heard about. My response — why weren’t you paying attention to the new stuff and telling me about it? When you do that, I’ll buy from you. When you fail, the internet is a click away.”

    Bookstore #2 deals with used books and closeouts, and it’s huge. The jazz section is extensive, nearly 20 linear feet of shelf space with a broad selection of used books, closeouts, and author review copies, and I browse it regularly as well. I nearly always find something to take home. Recent additions include bios or autobios of Horace Silver, Red Calendar, Thelonious Monk (bought to replace the copy I gave to a musician friend on the road), Django Reinhardt, and Scott LaFaro, a memoir by Norwegian jazz writer/critic/supporter Randi Hultin, and the jazz writings of Ralph Ellison, Bookstores like this get my biz. But when a bookstore responds to a “Doug’s Pick” with a blank stare and “we can order it,” the internet gets the order. Bookstore #1, while trumpeting its independence and hitting me with a guilt trip about supporting indepedent local businesses, told me that they couldn’t afford to deal with independent publishers! Huh?