Book shops

CSP (Consumer Supported Publishing)

Piazza-A-CSA-For-Books-1It seems as if  local, personalized, community businesses are going to survive the onslaught even more powerful, and perhaps more ruthless rivals than the chain stores and big boxes, then creating local,  sustainable solutions is the way to go.  And the idea of CSA (community supported agriculture) for books, where people pay a subscription and the books are brought to them, might be one of the paths.  I found an article on the website of the amazing PM Press that was from 2009, and I thought, I wonder how that’s working, and then the New Yorker, published an article about Samantha Haskell and her store, Blue Hill Books in Maine.

Here is the old article, by By Anna ClarkThe American Prospect ,December 3, 2009

As the broader publishing world flounders, alternative presses are turning to their communities for support.

“In search of sustainability, some publishers and booksellers are adapting ideas from the food movement. Community-supported agriculture (CSA) — in which consumers buy a share of a farm’s produce yield for the season — translates to community-supported publishing (CSP), in which readers subscribe to an independent press that in return delivers books to their doorstep every month.”

More articles about Blue Hill Books:
Shelf Awareness
Portland Press Herald



Brad Johnson, a bookseller at Oakland’s Diesel Bookstore, is poised to take over ownership of the store, to be renamed East Bay Booksellers. There are just a few days remaining on the Indiegogo campaign to help with the transition, so we thought now would be a good time to ask Johnson a few questions about moving from bookseller to store-owner.

Why are you doing this . . . it seems crazy

Read the rest of the article on the wonderful Lit Hub

Kindle Flames are Dimming

From an article in The Guardian by Paul Cocozza from April 27, 2017.  ​”The stack of hardbacks and paperbacks on the bedside table has grown so tall it has spawned sub-stacks on the floor.”

There are fewer new readers of digital books, and they tend to consume physical books as well. 

“It’s not about the death of ebooks,” Daunt says. “It’s about ebooks finding their natural level. 

Yoga in the Bookshop Aisles. Downward-Facing Dog in the New Age Section

Quotes from a Washington Post article on Upshur Street Books (827 Upshur St. NW)

“A bookstore, for me, is a place where there can be a cultural conversation,” says Ruppert, who saw a need for “a neighborhood-focused bookstore that would attract people from beyond the neighborhood.”

“We’re able to support a lot of emerging authors, especially local authors, so it’s definitely the right audience,” Thorn says of the community. She lives about three blocks from the store.

Ruppert says he wanted “a place where people can come and they don’t have to buy anything.”

“I can remember being a young college graduate and not having very much money and going to Olsson’s or Kramer’s [bookstores] and hanging out for a couple of hours on a Friday night and reading, so that was definitely part of it.”

Read the full article.  Chick here.

Who Needs Bookstores? We All Do.

Why do we even bother going to bookstores?

For instance, if I want to buy a book I have to walk almost four blocks, and pretty long blocks they are, to After-Words, a two-level shop at 23 E. Illinois St. ( that contains 70,000 new and used books. Google Maps tells me that the walk is only .02 miles, but it sure does seem longer.

Still, as tough as I may have it—sometimes it is raining or very hot or snowing — I can barely imagine the difficulties others have getting their hands on a book. Some people even have to get in their cars and drive to a bookstore.

And why? More…

Bookseller’s Valediction (Carol B. Chittenden, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, MA)

carolchittendenDear Readers,
If everyone had a job as absorbing and rewarding as mine has been at Eight Cousins, the world would be a far happier place — and that’s not even counting the chance to play with stickers on gift wrapping. In answer to the many questions about my future plans, l have decided not to go blonde and change my name to Peaches, pending the issuance of my NASCAR license. But then there’s that window-washing job at Buckingham Palace, the offer of a goldmine in Hong Kong, the opening for a roller-coaster tester at Six Flags Over Anywhere, or the chance to join the Very Senior Rodeo Team in Oskaloosa. Possibilities abound, but none could match the fun I’ve had at Eight Cousins for the past 28 years. I’ve loved every single week of it, loved watching children, parents, and grandparents move through each other’s lives, enjoyed the opportunity to read great literature and meet amazing authors and illustrators, valued the chance to participate in the community, and had the honor of working with smart, caring people.

But the world is not always a clean and friendly place. It’s more exciting than that, even as it can be cold, confusing, stressful, even violent. It can wear love away, crush efforts, and betray hopes. It can drown us in data, but deny understanding. And in the end, each of us dies. That is where stories come from, and why there are books. Even in desperate times, good books take us beyond our own lives and cast light upon the bigger picture. They lend vicarious excitement to the dull moments. They reveal sources of courage and humor and unexpected love. They offer us art, language, and the wisdom of the world. It has been a privilege to bring them to you.

My motto is, I have discovered, “Use what you have and do what you can.” Nobody has everything; no one can do it all. I had the opportunity to make a bookstore, and I have done what I could, with all my heart. With your help, the business has grown bigger and busier as I have grown older and slower. Luckily, three intelligent, industrious women have stepped forward, eager to use what they have and do what they can to keep Eight Cousins healthy and growing. Mary Fran Buckley, Sara Hines, and Eileen Miskell are all longtime participants in the life of the store, and they will be listening carefully to your requests and responses. I hope you will take a chance on them just as you took a chance on that tiny enterprise that Eight Cousins was in 1986. And now, I believe my hot air balloon is ready for me to step aboard and rise into the starry future. Thank you for everything.