Wednesday, September 21, 2005

All Hail The Independent Bookshop!

One of my little dreams for the future is to have a bookshop of my very own. I'm kind of sublimating that at the moment by running the bookshop at the Buddhist centre I go to. Oh, and I have lifted sales dramatically thank you very much.

I'm a huge fan of the small independent bookstore. One of my favourite bookstores is Better Read Than Dead in my suburb of Newtown. It's a true joy when you find a bookstore where the buyer has a taste aligned with your own, every single time I go in there I find a half dozen books I'd love to buy. The range isn't huge, but I get stunned by too much choice anyhow.

So, I was interested to read that Australians seem to be moving away from the big chains and back to the independents. Apparently Australians are also amongst the highest purchasers per capita of books and magazines in the world, and also hold one of the highest literacy rates.

Makes me proud.


Bodhi said...

Oh yeah, thats just what Newtown needs, another bloody bookstore. But, I am completely prepared to forgive vous if one opens a bookstore like Black Books.

I can see your clear Bernard potential already. Moi of course will play the part of Manny and ooh, oooh, ooooh ... The Kid can play the part of Fran!

anti ob said...

Bookstores are fantastic; independant ones infinitely moreso. I'm surprised but encouraged to hear that they're on the rise, because the last I had heard was that they were suffering badly from the fact that places like K-mart sell the top 20 bestsellers for substantially less than the independents can (the mega-chains get bulk discounts on the purchases, and can also afford to cut profit margins thin and make it up in bulk.) Much though we love the bookstores for their funky oddball books that you can't find anywhere else, their bread-and-butter is always going to be those bestsellers that you can sell a million of. Sad but, well... sad.

Also good to hear Australians read a lot, but I'd be interested to know how much was books and how much magazines; I've read that Australian per capita consumption of magazines is higher than anywhere else in the world, and books here are ludicrously expensive, at least compared to the US. There is a persistent rumour that this is in part because all books coming into Australia are required to come from the UK due to some ancient and hoary old colonial law, and if only I could find some evidence that this was true I'd raise bloody murder with my MP...

Michael said...

We have a great independent here smack in the middle of Ohio (which is the geographic and cultural equivalent of East Bumfuck). I've been able to go to readings from some fabulous authors because of it. My support of them used to be unwavering until the cheap slut Amazon started whoring around and shaking her free shipping tail at me. ::slaps own hand::

Michael said...
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