downtown books


V.21 No.44 | 11/1/2012
Julia Minamata juliaminamata.com

Arts

Paper books live!

Last week’s art section covered old-school booksellers fighting the good fight in the digital age. The Alibi article written by Robin Brown focuses on local book stores like Bookworks in the North Valley. “Keeping Their Word” shows how our local shops are staying alive in today’s market.

Mexico City can still host a book fair with more than 1 million customers; printed copies of books are not a dead product. When book fairs like this continue to be successful, it is a great sign for the global market for physical books.

At the Zocalo International Book Fair, there were hundreds of publishers exceeding expectations and expanding the market for literature in Central America. The host nation highlighted works from neighboring Guatemalan authors.

In her article, Brown mentions that there are a lot of people in the writing industry that are uncertain about how the market is going to play out over the next few years. Writers are not sure how well their books are going to sell, publishers are freaking out because of the rapidly changing market.

Ten years ago no one could have predicted that tablets as sophisticated as the Kindle would cause sales of physical books to decline. Even with e-books staking their claim in the market, there is no way that real books are going to be forgotten.

Julia Minamata juliaminamata.com

Book News

Keeping Their Word

Old-school booksellers fight the good fight

Keep on reading, and keep it local.
V.19 No.41 | 10/14/2010
A nondescript photograph of a nondescript building. They sell books on the right.
John Bear

Book News

Downtown Books Good; Multinational Fascist Bookstore Chain Bad

A nondescript building houses literary treasures

Independently owned book stores tend to be darker and more cavernous than their chain store counterparts. They are a source for used books rather than new ones, places to dig through stacks, search for that used copy of Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick or hunt for an Edward Bunker crime novel. They lean toward the eccentric titles that can be hard to find outside of the Internet but, unlike their electronic counterpart, don’t rob you of the joy that accompanies scoring a Richard Yates book after scouring the shelves. It’s easy to click on a PayPal button; it’s much harder to embark on a used bookstore rampage. (Those can last for days. Sweat beads form on the temples. The eyes strain.)

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