When both the big bookstores in her community folded, author Ann Patchett stepped forward and opened her own small bookstore.
In a very charming appearance on The Colbert Report, Patchett offers proof of my argument that the apocalypse brought to the bookstore industry by ebooks and Amazon is actually favorable to small local bookstores. Where Borders fell and B&N stumbles, small stores can now take root and give good old fashioned service to their communities.
In time, they’ll incorporate infrastructure allowing them to infinitely expand their stock by selling ebooks on-site and actually printing books on demand (as with the Espresso Book Machine, which is pretty amazing).
I wrote at length about how ebooks and digital distribution are good for readers, writers, and booksellers here, and if you have any interest in the topic, please give it a read.
You can watch Patchett and Colbert here.
I heard Ann Patchett’s interview on NPR a while back, and while at first I totally lauded her for opening a bookstore, I am a little distressed that she was so dismissive of used book stores. Memory fails, always and often, but I believe she said something like, “Well, there were used book stores, but…” and it was really dismissive. Like, those book stores didn’t count. I thought that she was opening a book store in a community that didn’t have one, and that wasn’t the case. I thought her story was misleading.She said, she wanted to live in a city with a bookstore… but her city DID have bookstores. Just not ones with new books.Here’s the NPR thing I’m referencing. http://www.npr.org/2011/11/16/142413792/ann-patchett-opens-parnassus-books-in-nashville
I can see both sides there. And since a writer gains nothing from the reselling of her work, I can understand why Patchett is more interested in bookstores offering new product.
I can see that, too. I think I was just let down because I thought it was really neat that a writer was opening a bookstore in a town that didn’t have ANY, when that really wasn’t the case.