July 19, 2011

Reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated: How bookselling is alive and well across the country

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 9:46 pm

Well, we have finally landed in (that is, driven up to) OR and after several adventures and misadventures, including what I feared would be a flash flood in Denver–you know someone has a big imagination when she’s envisioning flash floods in a city that boasts 300 days of sun a year, but it was raining *really* hard–and an almost-breakdown in Park City, Utah, I can weigh in with one sure and certain conclusion.

Bookstores and bookselling are thriving across this nation.

I want to do each store, each manager, owner, and salesperson we met, their due, so I’m going to compose a series of posts that will take you across the country with us, rather than try and sum up our trip. This may take a little while, so please bear with me.

And in the meantime, know that in every store we went into there were always other customers, no matter the day or the hour. There were young people and old. Asking questions, buying, browsing, waiting for events. Rooms were painted, often with quotes that tingled the imagination; shelves were laden; coffee perked or muffins baked. There was a weight to the air, a sense of both contentment and occupation.

Don’t tell Americans in Pennsylvania, or Illinois, Indiana, Salt Lake City, Utah, Des Moines or Boise, Idaho that bookselling is on the wane.

Reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated.


  1. You tell it, sister. From your lips to God’s ears. Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego is opening a 2nd branch in Redondo Beach, California late summer, early fall 2011. xoxo,

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — July 19, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

  2. So happy to hear that, Pam! One day you & I will both be there together :)

    Comment by jenny — July 20, 2011 @ 12:42 am

  3. YAY! So good to hear! I think bookstores are such a wonderful place for people to gather. I’m glad to hear they are still thriving! Maybe this downsize of the industry is near its end and we will level off to a new normal. I really wouldn’t want to lose any more.

    Comment by Hart — July 20, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  4. Now *that’s* a great take, Hart. I hope so!

    Comment by jenny — July 20, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  5. So nice to hear that. I try to support my local as much as possible. I’m enjoying your reports on your tour. I’m glad you escaped the flood!

    Comment by Lil Gluckstern — July 20, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  6. Jenny, I’m so glad to hear bookstores are doing well across America. Looking forward to more news!!

    Comment by mountainmama — July 20, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  7. Glad to learn bookstores are thriving. Have to remember the media only reports the bad news.
    Nash Black

    Comment by Nash Black — July 21, 2011 @ 8:50 am

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