Friday, July 26, 2013

Bookstores Are Clubs, Open to All'

Shelf Awareness

"Bookstores are for browsing, but they should also be showrooms in which the selection on hand is backed up by the vast catalog and data bases of books that can be ordered.
No customer should ever leave a store having asked for a book that can be located somewhere without closing the sale. I once saw a relevant sign in a hotel in Egypt of all places that today's booksellers should adopt: 'The answer is yes; there is no other answer.' The best bookstores--as Joyce Meskis [owner of Tattered Cover Book Store and director of the University of Denver's Publishing Institute] has helped to teach us--become community destinations featuring an array of additional attractions such as reading groups and writing classes. The appeal of spending time with other readers is considerable. Bookstores are clubs, open to all with common ideals and interests. (It helps, of course, to have a coffee shop or cozy lounging areas.).... So, the roles of the publisher and the booksellers remain essential to the process."

--from the keynote speech at this year's Publishing Institute by Peter Osnos, founder and editor-at-large, Public Affairs Books, and media fellow, the Century Foundation


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