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Search tags: Indie-bookstores
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text 2017-09-04 01:46
Family Fun

So we had family night on Friday and decided on Movie Tavern.  For anyone who's unsure what that is, it's basically a movie theater where you can order dinner, dessert, snacks, drinks to your seat throughout the movie.  It's fab! 


So we went to see the Hitman's Bodyguard--which was not at all what I expected--but was a great movie.  We got there early to stroll around and check out the shops and of course  we ended up at a book shop.  I have no will power.  I ended up with a book and got one for my daughter (partly because I want to read it too, lol!)


I just love indie bookstores!


Oddly enough I saw a physical copy of a book that's been on my 'maybe' list for the first time ever.


Then I found a new book for my 'maybe' list because the cover called out to the 80s kid in me.


And of course I didn't leave without making a purchase!  


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text 2016-01-26 21:11
It Doesn't Have to Be About Chocolates and Flowers!

There are not many independent bookstores around anymore.  In my neck of the woods there is one that comes to mind and I think the reason they are still around is because of their "out of the box" thinking.


Wordsworth Books ALWAYS has something interesting going on.  The sponsor author events, have great "bag-o-book" sales and maintain a very strong presence in the community on on social networking.  


This idea came up on their Facebook feed today and I think it's a wonderful idea ...


"Blind Date with a Book"


Books wrapped in brown paper with enough of a description to give you a little direction as to whether it would be interesting or not.  


It's a great idea in bookstore but I think it could be a really fun idea for an "any occasion" book exchange too. 






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text 2014-07-22 16:07
The Second Battle of Marianna

Marianna-Sign-Drop-ShadowThe other day I went to my favorite indie bookstore in the nearby town of Marianna, FL, to drop off some copies of my new book Stepping Out of Time.What I found was a big sign in the window that said, “Going Out of Business Sale,” and a normally meticulous store in disarray inside.


I did some browsing, bought a box full of interesting used books and gave a copy of my book to the owner, Mike Downum, to read while flying to a funeral in California the next day. I also got a brief history lesson about a Civil War battle that I never knew had taken place right in front of the store 150 years earlier.


historical-marker_595_FPAN logo-white-outlinedIn mid-September, 1864, US Brigadier General Alexander Asboth learned that some Union soldiers were being held prisoner in the tiny town of Marianna, FL, several days to the east of his position near Pensacola. Assembling a force of about 700 men, cobbled together cavalry units plus the 82nd and 86th US Colored Infantries, Asboth headed east along the Gulf coast.


The mission was to retrieve the few prisoners, loot the rich plantations of cattle, free slaves and destroy property in the town. Several days later, on the morning of September 27, 1864, Asboth’s force prepared to take the town from the north with a flanking unit to the west.


The town’s defenders consisted of  a small force of regular cavalry plus the Home Guard, a local militia of several hundred elderly men and school boys either too old or too young for the regular army. Added to that was a handful of wounded Confederate soldiers recuperating from battles further north. Despite being badly outnumbered, the ragtag group fought bravely for their homes and families, down the main street and into a church cemetery.


The battle ended after fierce, in-close fighting that resulted in both sides losing about a quarter of the men they started with. That was the furthest incursion into northwest Florida ever made by the Union army.


marianna_001More than a century later the second battle of Marianna is winding down. Chipola River Book & Tea will be closed in another two weeks. Mike, a woman by the way, told me that a continuing bad economy and competition from Amazon forced her to finally surrender after many years of being an established fixture in the small town. She resisted closing for a long time, but like the Home Guard years earlier she found herself surrounded and outgunned by a larger and more powerful force.


Small town businesses live a precarious existence in today’s world and they have to rely on a small population of regular customers to survive. Mike, like her forebears, will attempt to rebuild but with an entirely new business model. She is already retired and it will not be an easy transition, but I admire her tenacity and drive. She hopes to reorganize her inventory and sell used books on Amazon. I wish her every success possible as she endeavors to restart in a whole new direction.


cover 1If you have a small independent bookstore near you, please help to keep them open by shopping there. I had hoped this article would be to announce that my book was now available in Mike’s shop, but like her I have to adopt the Amazon model as well. However, I will donate free copies to any other indie in this area to sell as they see fit. And of course I will never slow down buying books as long as there are brick and mortar stores to buy from.

Source: ricktownley.com/2014/07/22/the-second-battle-of-marianna
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text 2014-03-26 20:34
Publishers remain, but bookstores disappear in America's publishing capital.

The NY Times reported yesterday that the number of bookstores in NY City has declined 30% over the past decade, due largely to the sharp increase in rents. As the city has become more and more the enclave of the rich, small businesses can't survive with the rapid rise in rents for store space.


This is affecting even the big chains like Barnes and Noble, which recently closed it's flagship store at 18th Street. Fifth Avenue, once called "book row," is nearly devoid of bookstores despite the continued presence of some of the biggest publishers in the world. 


The reporter focuses on rising costs but the continuing popularity of e-books is taking it's toll as well. All across America, independent bookstores are resorting to selling non-book items to keep their doors open. It appears we are fast approaching the day when hanging out at a bookstore or shop is quickly coming to an end. Some of us remember record stores with listening booths, but they dried up with the advent of cassette tapes and then CDs and digital downloads. Even video stores, news stands and magazine shops are disappearing from the landscape. 


So the question to ask is, at what cost do we embrace the new digital media technology? Will future generations even know the difference or even care? Should we care today, or are we protesting inevitable change? 


The original NYT article can be found at:


Source: www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/business/media/bookstores-forsake-manhattan-as-rents-surge.html
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text 2013-12-04 04:22
In Defense of Independent bookstores

They can survive and thrive, with the support of bibliophiles such as ourselves!  This holiday season, let us all do our part to support them! 


"Indie" stores can, and will, exist if we make a conscious effort to visit them.  

The Atlantic Cities had a great article about "Indie" bookstores. Check it! 

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