This article appeared in the recent addition of Chapin Neighbors. A special thanks to Daniel Rendelman for publishing my articles in his new magazine.
The death of the Independent Bookstore has been greatly exaggerated. They are still here and don’t plan to go anywhere anytime soon.
That was the prognostication from Wall Street, right? Amazon was going to kill the brick and mortar bookstore model. The era of the digital age had arrived. There was initial evidence of this. The large bookstores began closing, one after another. We would spend the remainder of our lives holed up in our houses, ordering digital books and digital movies, only emerging every once in a while, pale as an Arctic Fox at the end of hibernation.
Then something strange occurred. We still left our homes. We did not become wholly reliant on reviews read from a computer screen. We still wanted to touch a book. We still craved recommendations from an actual voice. But the larger bookstores had closed their doors. What to do?
Markets don’t like vacuums. Where there is demand, something will fill it. Enter the Independent, or Indie, Bookstore. From 2012 to 2016 Indie Bookstores were growing at a clip of 12 percent year over year.
I’ve been recommending books to friends and family for over ten years, and now I do the same for customers at my bookstore. It was a natural transition for me, and this is why people still go to Indie Bookstores. It’s the personal recommendation from someone who is knowledgeable. From someone who actually read the book.
I love the internal satisfaction of someone telling me, “Thanks for the recommendation. I really enjoyed the book.” I enjoy this enough that I’ve expanded my reach via a blog. www.thecoffeeshelf.com/blog/categories/book-reviews. My goal has been to model my reviews to closely emulate what I might tell you in person.
I still prefer the one-on-one connection of recommending a book in person. But that is not always possible in our hustle and bustle world. Hopefully my blog can extend my reach. Writing is something I enjoy doing, so why not?
I recently finished a book written by Kristin Hannah. She is becoming one of my favorite authors, so I will leave you with my review. You can read it here, or read it below.
The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
This one caught my attention by the mere mention of Alaska. I've never been, but hope to go someday.
As you can imagine, there is so much more to this story than just surviving the harsh winters of Alaska. That's what Kristin Hannah does; she takes a common story and brings it to life. The more I read, the more I wanted to read.
In this book she captures the challenges families faced with abusive fathers/husbands. As a society, we excused them in the 1970's. Things are better today, but there is a long way to go in solving our domestic abuse problems. It was worse for the mothers of the world back in that tumultuous decade.
I strongly recommend this book. Read it and learn. Best of all, enjoy the story.