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robertogreco : bookstores   40

Comix Experience
"Comix Experience is San Francisco's oldest and most diverse comic book and graphic novel store, with two locations to serve you. Our Divisadero Street location specializes in graphic novels, with The City's widest-by-far inventory of books in every genre and style imaginable, while our Ocean Avenue store specializes in back issue comic books with a deep and eclectic inventory of all of your favorite comic books from the past.

Whichever store you visit, you'll quickly see that Comix Experience doesn't just like comics, we LOVE comics, and our friendly, dedicated staff are frankly delighted to help you find the perfect comic no matter what your interests are.

Our new Graphic Novel Club and Kid's Graphic Novel Club [http://www.graphicnovelclub.com/kids.html ] offer monthly curated selections of the best graphic novels, private events with authors and artists, and more. You can even buy each month's selections and runners up on our online store."



"Comix Experience
305 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 863-9258
http://www.comixexperience.com/divisadero-st.-.html

Comix Experience Outpost
2381 Ocean Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 239-2669
http://www.comixexperience.com/ocean-ave..html "
books  bookstores  comics  sanfrancisco  classideas  bookclubs 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Bikes to Books Map | Burrito Justice
"San Francisco is famous for many things, one of which is its vast literary legacy, a legacy that stretches back to its earliest days. On January 25, 1988, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a proposal by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Books to rename 12 small San Francisco streets after famous authors and artists who had lived and worked in the City.

Jack London
Mark Twain
Ambrose Bierce
Dashiell Hammett

On Sunday, October 2, 1988, a ceremony and unveiling of new street signs was held at City Lights Bookstore (which was also celebrating its 35th anniversary). Mayor Art Agnos declared October 2nd to be “City Lights Bookstore Day in San Francisco,” and an enormous crowd showed up at City Lights. After a number of speeches by literary notables, the first signs were unveiled at Kerouac Street (between City Lights and Vesuvio’s Bar) and William Saroyan Place (between Spec’s Bar and the Tosca Café), where the celebration continued into the night.

Isadora Duncan
Frank Norris Jr.
Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Benny Bufano

Twenty-five years later, Nicole Gluckstern, a local author/city cyclist and Burrito Justice, an amateur historian/cartographer, joined forces to devise a bike tour and interactive map connecting all 12 streets and authors/artists, from Jack London to Jack Kerouac, South Park to North Beach. The 7.1 mile tour, which takes between two and three hours to complete, is admittedly not for the faint of heart nor gear—these streets were not chosen for their proximity to bike lanes, and there is plenty of traffic to dodge, hills to climb, one-way streets, and even a set of stairs. But it’s a diverting and unique way to celebrate both the literary and the adventurous spirit of San Francisco.

Bob Kaufman
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Kenneth Rexroth
William Saroyan
Jack Kerouac

A 18″x24″ foldable map of the bike route is available for sale at City Lights Bookstore and select San Francisco book shops:

Folio Books (24th @ Noe)
Adobe Books (24th @ Folsom)
Alleycat (24th @ Harrison)
Dog Eared Books (Valencia @ 20th)
Needles and Pens (16th @ Guerrero)
Borderlands (Valencia @ 20th)
Green Arcade (Market @ Gough)
Green Apple (Inner Richmond, 6th Ave @ Clement)
Other Avenues (Outer Sunset, Judah @ 44th Ave)
City Lights (North Beach, Columbus @ Broadway)

In addition to the 13 authors and artists, the maps contains a detailed description of the bike route, as well as over two dozen era-specific points of interests.

SF author bike tour City Lights preview

Zoom and enhance:

On the back of the map is a selected, San Francisco-centric bibliography of the 13 authors and artists.

The Bikes to Books map is also available as a slippy, zoomable online version, with lots of pop-ups and links.

Profound and utter thanks go to Noah Veltman for the online map."
classideas  sanfrancisco  history  literature  maps  mapping  burritojustice  jacklondon  marktwain  ambrosebierce  dashiellhammett  isadoraduncan  franknorrisjr  richardhenrydanajr  bennybufano  bobkaufman  lawrenceferlinghetti  kennethrexroth  williamsaroyan  jackkerouac  noahveltman  johnoram  books  bookstores  booksellers 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Revolution Books
"Revolution Books is the bookstore about the world and for a radically new world. RB is a site of critical thinking like nowhere else: where people find the books and engagement with why the world is the horror it is today, and where people can discover the revolutionary way out of this madness, engaging with the path-breaking work of the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian and the movement for revolution. RB is needed more than ever."



"People come to Revolution Books from all over the world to find the books and the deep engagement with each other about why the world is the way it is and the possibility of a radically different way the world could be.

The world today, with all its horrors, holds the potential for something far better. To unlock that – at the foundation of RB – is the most advanced scientific theory and leadership for an actual revolution for the emancipation of humanity: the new synthesis of communism brought forward by the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian.

RB is a bookstore with literature, history, science, art, philosophy, and revolutionary theory....a place of discovery and engagement. Scientific and poetic, wrangling and visionary. A bookstore at the center of a movement for revolution.

Humanity Needs Revolution.
Revolution Needs Revolution Books.
Revolution Books Needs You."
bookstores  books  berkeley  sanfrancisco  booksellers  bobavakian 
december 2016 by robertogreco
7 Writers on Their Favorite Bookstores - The New York Times
"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Jazzhole, Lagos, Nigeria

The Jazzhole is easy to miss — tucked next to a pharmacy on Awolowo Road, a busy, traffic-packed road crammed on either side with banks and businesses. Lagos is nearly always hot and sticky, and it makes me happy to walk into its cool and darkish interior and to be filled instantly with the expectation of discovery. Tables with books spread out like invitations. A range of fiction, from Lisa Gardner to Tash Aw. Biographies, histories, poetry. Large, hardcover art books propped on shelves. Framed images on the walls of iconic book covers, musicians, nationalists. A traditional drum hanging from the wall. A music section with CDs of both old and new music from Africa and Europe and America.

[photo]

Jazzhole, a cultural haven combining a bookshop and music store, in Lagos, Nigeria. Credit Chris Stein
The Jazzhole is a bookstore, a music store, a cultural haven. It is a space reverential of stories and history. Its casual, lived-in charm encourages browsing, and I have discovered beloved books there — books about Africa, in particular. It is also the place in Lagos to go to for new British and American book releases. I have attended live music events there, with the bookshelves pushed back to fit in seating. I have had delicious cake and fresh juice from the tiny cafe at the back.

It feels human, it feels like a place warmly welcoming of all kinds of people. If you’re lucky, you might run into the owners, Kunle and Tundun Tejuosho. Kunle, quiet and introverted, a walking archive of African music, and Tundun, warm and exuberantly intelligent. Genuine people and genuine lovers of culture."
books  bookstores  chimamandangoziadichie  2016  booksellers  nigeria  jazzhole 
december 2016 by robertogreco
theMagunga Bookstore - theMagunga Bookstore
"theMagunga is a theatre of stories. We collect stories and put them up so you can dwell in them, revel in their beauty and share that beauty with the world. We publish stories in many forms, we review books and we partner with lit festivals. In the spirit of continuing to share beautifully written words, theMagunga decided to open this online bookstore, to promote the distribution and reading of Kenyan and African books.

It’s about spreading the word (literally) and also about convenience. Order online, from the website, and have the book delivered to you for FREE within the Nairobi CBD and its environs. Since we are passionate about stories as well as improving the reading culture in our society, we strive to provide the best possible deals on the books we stock.

So go check out our bookstore and get your read need satiated. It is, after all, what you know theMagunga does best.

Thank you for shopping with us."

[via: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/bringing-african-books-back-home ]
bookstores  booksellers  magungawilliams  abigailarunga  davidmabiria  odouroduko  nairobi  kenya  africa 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Tokyo Bookstore Only Stocks One Title at a Time
"Morioka Shoten in Ginza features a new solitary book every week, accompanied by related artworks and items

A new bookstore opened earlier this year in Ginza, Tokyo that takes the unique approach of only stocking one title at a time. A different book is featured every week at Morioka Shoten and it is accompanied by related items such as artworks and photographs.

This concept sets the store apart from others, offering a curated approach that combats decision fatigue and makes browsing a lot quicker by recommending a single title for customers to purchase and read.

The bookstore’s owner, Yoshiyuki Morioka, came up with the idea after organizing a series of popular readings and book signings for single publications at his other, traditional bookstore. He was inspired to open a dedicated space where a single book could take center stage. The second branch of Morioka Shoten was created by design and engineering firm Takram, who led the graphic design and copy writing for the Ginza store’s visual identity.

The book of the week is displayed on a table in the small boutique, along with Morioka’s personal work desk and a vintage chest of drawers that is used as the store’s counter. The minimalistic aesthetic of the space matches perfectly with its concept. There are no other items of furniture, and the concrete walls and ceiling are coated with white paint, while the concrete floor has been left bare.

Pieces of art that relate to the currently spotlighted book are displayed around the store for customers to enjoy, for example, ceramic jewellery and objects by Mayumi Kogoma were on show because they were inspired by Kenji Miyazawa’s novel Porano no hiroba."

[See also: http://www.takram.com/morioka-shoten-ginza-branch/

"Morioka Shoten Ginza Branch

takram worked on graphic design and copy writing for visual image of ‘Morioka Shoten Ginza Branch’

On May 5th, ‘Morioka Shoten Ginza Branch’ has opened in Ginza, Tokyo. With the concept of ‘a bookstore with a single book,’ the store is a second branch store for ‘Morioka Shoten.’ takram led the graphic design and copy writing for the new store’s visual identity."
books  bookstores  booksellers  publishing  retail  noticings  2015  yoshiyukimorioka  moriokashoten  curation  tokyo  japan  ginza  decisionmaking  minimalism  audiencesofone 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Black Books- The Story of Britain's First Black Bookshop on Vimeo
"This film delves into the radical history of Britain's first black bookshop which was founded by John La Rose and Sarah White in 1966. As well as creating a much needed space for black communities to access and publish their own literature, it helped support important campaigns such as the Caribbean Artists Movement, the Black Parents Movement as well as playing a pivotal role in the historic Black Peoples Day of Action.

Decades on, 'New Beacon Books' is still a functioning bookshop but in a world of Amazon and Kindles can it really survive forever?"
britain  uk  2014  documentary  booksellers  bookshops  1966  johnlarose  sarahwhite  activism  politics  lcproject  publishing  openstudioproject  optimism  1960s  change  arwaaburawa  bookstores 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Journey West (East of Borneo)
"Coming from New York we found all this both exhilarating and baffling; Los Angeles seemed to be a city hiding in plain sight. There was plenty to see, interesting people to talk to, all easily accessible by the sporadically flowing freeway. But that veneer of easy connectivity masked a deeper, and more troubling, sense that nothing was easily available, a misleading perception of nothing going on. This was a city of outposts and easily missed landmarks connected by a sprawling, historical disposition not to connect; a deeply unsociable city – not unfriendly, just unsociable, the opposite of places like New York or Paris with their gabby rush to embrace and discard. When we left Los Angeles we had some ideas for future articles, but we didn’t have a satisfying grasp on the place.

REALLIFE Magazine was very much the project of a walk-around city. We had an editorial point of view, which was that we wanted to provide a forum for younger artists who saw themselves operating in a post-conceptual landscape, with an interest in connecting to issues of everyday life. That is to say we were still working in the shadow of a well-known history, a narrative of progress and upset that we tended to accept as more or less given. The wrinkle in that acceptance was an ever-present conviction that the somatic experiments of Surrealism held out a lot more promise than our more academic peers allowed. Our editorial process had a trajectory, but it was one easily, and willingly, sent off track by an interesting chance encounter. We sought openness within a structure framed by opinion, and sought that through the old-fashioned networking of the street. Los Angeles proved fatal to this method, and the magazine came to an end shortly after the two of us moved here in the early ’90s.

In 2002, after a ten-year break from the business side of art magazines, I joined the editorial team of Afterall, a self-described “journal of art, context and enquiry” that had begun as a counterweight to the market-driven art talk prevalent in London in the ’90s, and that maintained a purposefully old-school attitude to the idea of the art journal as something deliberately out of time. The founders, an artist and a curator, designed an editorial process that took the form of a twice-yearly seminar to discover the most interesting artists to discuss. When they invited me to join them, the idea was to expand this method; investigating international art from two separate but simultaneous perspectives, that of London and Los Angeles. For several years this proved to be a rich, intense, and very productive experiment. And then an intellectual exhaustion set in and the project drifted into an ill-defined state of ennui. Paradoxically the root of this exhaustion was our lack of rootedness; in a fundamental way the journal had no point of view, only a premise. Unmoored in the jet stream, our two bases separated, buffeted by argument without end.

In the 21st century the ramifications of this rootlessness and the practical challenges facing publishing began to require ever more radical responses. The small bookstores that had once supported small magazines were closing at an increasing rate. Museums were turning their bookstores into gift shops. Fluctuations in the currency markets made it increasingly difficult to budget production costs in an international context, and then the huge economic crash made everything impossible. But the biggest challenge of all was the Internet, which manages to make everything simultaneously local and international. When Susan and I were publishing REALLIFE Magazine we had a substantial subscriber base, a much larger figure across the United States than Afterall ever achieved, despite significant institutional backing. But of course before the Internet, people had to subscribe to little magazines if they wanted to keep up-to-date, whereas now we inhabit the complex world of websites, blogs, aggregators and Twitter feeds, and can keep informed by the instant.

What this all suggested to me was that what an art publication could be now was something both more participatory and more traditionally edited. I still believe that people may actually like some editorial guidance – the most successful blogs seem to be the most opinionated. But these blogs tend to a linear, one-thing-after-the-other format that runs counter to the open horizontality of communication offered up by the hyperlink. Discussions flare, and can become engrossing, but they tend to be one-dimensional, focused on one issue at a time. I found I was hungering for a more complex participation. As a writer I have become accustomed to working in a way that allows skipping back and forth as a text builds, checking references, finding new evidence as a result of lateral moves across the Internet. A few online publications allow readers a similarly multifaceted experience, although most quarantine reader participation in the shadow zone reserved for comments. Until now no art publication has offered this kind of experience.

As you navigate the site today you will discover that East of Borneo incorporates the benefits of online media not only for timely art-related content, but also for lively dialogues and the sharing and distribution of research and archival material. Our articles incorporate and offer the materials—video, audio, links and texts—that the author drew from. Users can upload their own relevant contributions, creating a growing archive of associated content. Topics will develop depth over time as material accrues, becoming substantial repositories of information and interpretation.

What we imagined was an intricately interwoven site that would allow us to build an archive of Los Angeles, past and present, using the power of a networked collectivity to create depth and complexity. To some Web 2.0 is old news, but established magazines are only slowly awakening to its challenges and possibilities. East of Borneo’s genesis has been long and deliberative: several years of thinking past the delights and constraints of the printed page, and one very intense year of thinking through the actual possibilities of current online publication.

I am tremendously proud and excited about all this, and hope you will share my enthusiasm. Visit us often to watch the site grow in both content and interactivity as we roll out further features. Visit us often to upload that telling image, indispensible text, incredible link. Join us on this journey."
eastofborneo  losangeles  thomaslawson  art  history  2010  artjournalism  journalism  1980  publishing  online  linear  onlinemedia  epublishing  bookstores  cities  urbanism  nyc  urban  accretion  interpretation  internet  howwework  archives  networks  networkedcollectivity  collectivity  depth  complexity  howwewrite  howwethink  linearity 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Moby-Dick variations — The Message — Medium
"That’s interesting, but here’s the one that blows my mind: If we were to burn all extant copies of Moby-Dick and then rewrite the story from memory… 33% of respondents told me that would be the same novel!

I just couldn’t square that response with the others. You’re telling me that if I change the adjectives, it’s not the same novel, but if I open a blank Word document and start typing from memory, it is?

Upon consideration, what I get from these responses is an intuition of faithfulness. Translation is assumed to be faithful, whereas the substitution of adjectives is clearly a game. Likewise, when we rewrite the book from memory, we are assumed to be doing so faithfully, to the best of our paltry ability (“I… can’t remember the whaling chapters. I never actually read them. I’m sorry. I’M SORRY!”), whereas if we change the ending, we are clearly inflicting something on the story.

Faithfulness to what, though?

I think Shaenon K. Garrity has the answer.

I think we, as readers, are able to sense the shape of a particular Branch Library of Babel built around a particular story, with its particular set of images and themes. Even though this Branch Library is an abstract thing, to say the least, I think we, as readers, can trace its perimeter with surprising accuracy. Collectively—and maybe only collectively—we can determine which elements a work of fiction depends on, and which it doesn’t.

It makes me think of that indirect sort of astronomy, in which we infer the existence of an exoplanet by looking closely at a wobbling star. I think we are seeing a little wobble when we learn that adding a sex scene is less of an injury to Moby-Dick’s Moby-Dick-ness than changing the ending. Moby-Dick’s ending obviously matters, a lot. There are other stories for which the ending might feel arbitrary, even superfluous, but for which an added sex scene would be transformative indeed. (Winnie the Pooh, perhaps?)

This isn’t just intellectual play. I mean, it’s mostly intellectual play. But, having written and revised and published a novel myself, this question of where it begins and ends has become more concrete, particularly now that the book has been translated into about twenty languages. Usually, foreign publishers send over two or three copies. I look at these other editions…

…and realize that, somehow, these two statements are simultaneously true:

1. This is the same novel.
2, Every single word has been changed.

Likewise: In the earliest draft of Penumbra, there was this whole weird thing about Matthias Corvinus, the Raven King, a real-life historical figure. He and his lost library (!) were at the core of that story, yet they are nowhere in the published novel. Was that variation, printed on cheap paper and shared with early readers, not actually Penumbra? Where is the Raven King now?

Writing a novel, it is possible to become aware of yourself as an explorer in a new Branch Library of Babel, one built not around Moby-Dick but instead some other story—the one you’re writing. In this awareness, you are not so much composing as spelunking: feeling your way toward the one particular incarnation of the story that you will carry back into the light, into the world, into bookstores and libraries.

The other variations remain behind, but—I really believe this, and I think my little survey backs it up—readers can still sense them. When we read a novel, we enjoy not only a particular text but somehow the suggestion of a whole Branch Library. Sometimes, if a novel is successful, that becomes a place where others want to go exploring: with translation and adaptation, by remixing and rebooting. All of these undertakings constitute a return journey, and there are always more variations waiting in the Branch Library.

To my translators, I ought to say: “Suit up. Bring a sandwich. Carry a taser. The Raven King is in there somewhere.”

Back in Garrity’s original Branch Library of Babel, though, the real question is this: If you search and search… will you ever find Emoji Dick?"
robinsloan  literature  philosophy  translation  language  books  shaenongarrity  borges  2014  mobydick  libraryofbabelspelunking  variations  bookstores  libraries  moby-dick 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 208, Louise Erdrich
[From the intro]

"After invariably classifying Erdrich as a Native American ­writer, many reviewers proceed to compare her work to that of William Faulkner or Gabriel García Márquez: Faulkner for her tangled family trees, her ventriloquist skill, and her expansive use of a fictional province no less fully imagined than Yoknapatawpha County; García Márquez for her flirtations with magical realism. But so strange are Erdrich’s narrative rhythms, and so bonded is her language to its subject matter, that it seems just as ­accurate to call hers a genre of one."



"The next day, while Erdrich attended a wedding in Flandreau, South Dakota, her sister took me the remaining two hundred miles to Minneapolis, where, three days later, Erdrich and I reconvened at her bookstore and Native American arts shop, Birchbark Books. Here, Erdrich’s eldest daughter, Persia, decides which children’s books to stock. Taped to most of the shelves are detailed recommendations handwritten by Erdrich herself. An upside-down canoe hangs from the ceiling, suspended between a birch-bark reading loft and a Roman Catholic confessional decorated with sweetgrass rosaries."



"Crowded into a bookshelf beside a worn armchair in the center of the room are the hardbound spiral notebooks in which, in a deeply slanted longhand, Erdrich still writes most of her books—sitting in the chair with a wooden board laid across its arms as a desk."

[Erdrich's words]

"I was a model child. It was the teacher’s mistake I am sure. The box was drawn on the blackboard and the names of misbehaving children were written in it. As I adored my teacher, Miss Smith, I was destroyed to see my name appear. This was just the first of the many humiliations of my youth that I’ve tried to revenge through my writing. I have never fully exorcised shames that struck me to the heart as a child except through written violence, shadowy caricature, and dark jokes."



"My father is my biggest literary influence. Recently I’ve been looking through his letters. He was in the National Guard when I was a child and whenever he left, he would write to me. He wrote letters to me all through college, and we still correspond. His letters, and my mother’s, are one of my life’s treasures.

[Interviewer asks "What are they about?"]

Mushroom hunting. Roman Stoics. American Indian Movement politics. Longfellow. Stamp collecting. Apples. He and my mother have an orchard. He used to talk about how close together meadowlarks sit on fence posts—every seventh fence post. Now, of course, they are rare. When I went off to college, he wrote about the family, but in highly inflated terms, so that whatever my sisters and brothers were doing seemed outrageously funny or tragic. If my mother bought something it would be a cumbersome, dramatic addition to the household, but of course unnecessary. If the dog got into the neighbor’s garbage it would be a saga of canine effort and exertion—and if the police caught the dog it would be a case of grand injustice."



"We are wired to have a period of language opportunity. It is harder to learn languages after the age of eight or ten. In addition, Ojibwe is one of the most difficult languages to learn because its verbs take on an unusual ­array of forms. There’s no masculine or feminine designation to the nouns, but instead they’re qualified as animate or inanimate. The verb form changes ­according to its status as animate or inanimate as well as in regard to ­human relationships. The verbs go on and on. Often when I’m trying to speak Ojibwe my brain freezes. But my daughter is learning to speak it, and that has given me new resolve. Of course, English is a very powerful language, a colonizer’s language and a gift to a writer. English has destroyed and sucked up the languages of other cultures—its cruelty is its vitality. Ojibwe is taught in colleges, increasingly in immersion programs, but when my grandfather went to government boarding school he wasn’t allowed to speak Ojibwe. Nor were Indian students in Catholic boarding schools, where my mother went, as so many of our family were Catholic."



"Every Catholic is raised to be devout and love the Gospels, but I was spoiled by the Old Testament. I was very young when I started reading, and the Old Testament sucked me in. I was at the age of magical thinking and believed sticks could change to serpents, a voice might speak from a burning bush, angels wrestled with people. After I went to school and started catechism I realized that religion was about rules. I remember staring at a neighbor’s bridal-wreath bush. It bloomed every year but was voiceless. No angels, no parting of the Red River. It all seemed so dull once I realized that nothing spectacular was going to happen.

I’ve come to love the traditional Ojibwe ceremonies, and some rituals, but I hate religious rules. They are usually about controlling women. On Sundays when other people go to wood-and-stone churches, I like to take my daughters into the woods. Or at least work in the garden and be outside. Any god we have is out there. I’d hate to be certain that there was nothing. When it comes to God, I cherish doubt."



"Before coming to Dartmouth, I won a scholarship to an American Legion summer camp and was trapped with the John Birch Society. So I had a strange, brief flirtation with the right. I voted for Richard Nixon. But then Nixon was a hero to a lot of Native people. Despite everything else, he was one of the first presidents to understand anything about American Indians. He effectively ended the policy of termination and set our Nations on the course of self-determination. That had a galvanizing effect in Indian country. So I voted for Nixon and my boyfriend wanted to kill me and I didn’t know why. Why was this so important? Nixon was even running against a South Dakota boy, George McGovern. But McGovern had no understanding of treaty rights, and I also thought I was voting in accordance with my father, because he kept saying George this, George that, what a demagogue. Then about a year ago, I said, Dad, I thought we were both against George in that election. And he said, I was talking about George Wallace."



"He [Erdrich's father] gave me those nickels [one for every story Eldrich wrote as a child], remember? It didn’t occur to me that my books would be widely read at all, and that enabled me to write anything I wanted to. And even once I realized that they were being read, I still wrote as if I were writing in secret. That’s how one has to write anyway—in secret. At a certain point, you have to not please your parents, although for me that’s painful because I’m close to my parents and of course I want them to be happy."



"INTERVIEWER

You said before that your bookstore is a way you have of meeting with other people. Is the business still working?

ERDRICH

Birchbark Books is still here! In fact, doing well. But I’m not a business person. At first I looked at the bookstore as a work of art that would survive on its own artfulness. Now I get that it’s a business, but it is also much more. Any good business is about its people. Marvelous people work at Birchbark Books. That’s why it’s still alive. Walking into a huge bookstore feels a bit like walking into Amazon.com. But walking into a small bookstore, you immediately feel the presence of the mind that has chosen the books on the shelves. You communicate intellectually with the buyer. Then, if you’re lucky, you meet another great reader in person—our manager, Susan White, ready with ideas for you. People need bookstores and need other readers. We need the intimate communication with others who love books. We don’t really think we do, because of the ease that the Internet has introduced, but we still need the physical world more than we know. Little bookstores are community services, not profitable business enterprises. Books are just too inexpensive online and there are too many of them, so a physical bookstore has to offer something different. Perhaps little bookstores will attain nonprofit status. Maybe one fine day the government will subsidize them, so they can thrive as nonprofit entities. Some very clever bookstore, probably not us, is going to manage to do that and become the paradigm for the rest.

INTERVIEWER

What do you do to differentiate your store?

ERDRICH

We attract writers, especially Native writers, and we host literary events, which means, again, the bookstore is more than a business—it is an arts organization. We support a number of Native artists: basket makers and jewelers and painters. We sell medicines grown by a Dakota family: sage, sweetgrass, bear root. My sister Heid and I launched an affiliated nonprofit press that will publish in the Ojibwe and Dakota languages. With a small bookstore, you get to encourage your eccentricities. It’s quite a wonderful thing, this bookstore. I thought it would be a project for my daughters and me, some work we could do together, and that has happened. Each daughter has worked in the store.

There’s something very wrong in our country—and not just in the book business. We now see what barely fettered capitalism looks like. We are killing the small and the intimate. We all feel it and we don’t know quite why everything is beginning to look the same. The central cores of large cities can still sustain interesting places. But all across our country we are intent on developing chain after chain with no character and employees who work for barely livable wages. We are losing our individuality. Killing the soul of our landscape. Yet we’re supposed to be the most individualistic of countries. I feel the sadness of it every time I go through cities like Fargo and Minneapolis and walk the wonderful old Main Streets and then go out to the edges and wander through acres of concrete boxes. Our country is starting to look like Legoland.

INTERVIEWER

Do you find any shortage of good books being published these days?

ERDRICH

… [more]
louiseerdrich  writing  2010  interviews  culture  feminism  religion  bookstores  minneapolis  reading  howweread  howwewrite  community  gabrielgarcíamárquez 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Video: Izu Book Cafe / Atelier Bow-Wow | ArchDaily
"Two Izu retirees hired architects Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima to design them a home equipped with a neighborhood bookshop and cafe. The Japanese practice stepped up to the challenge and constructed an elegant, curved structure whose white walls and wooden ceiling hug the hundred degree undulating street on which its located and embraces the wooded forest it backs to. The home – which features two bedrooms, a kitchen, cafe, bookshop and atelier – is accessed beneath a bridged part of the structure and organized as a sequence. Take a tour through this interesting space with this short video made by JA+U Magazine."

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/57525543 ]
cafes  yoshiharutsukamoto  momoyokaijima  livework  bookshops  homes  japan  architecture  design  atelierbow-wow  2013  bookstores 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World - NYTimes.com
"TRAVEL, like life, is best understood backward but must be experienced forward, to paraphrase Kierkegaard. After decades of wandering, only now does a pattern emerge. I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places.

It is, admittedly, an odd term. One could be forgiven for thinking that thin places describe skinny nations (see Chile) or perhaps cities populated by thin people (see Los Angeles). No, thin places are much deeper than that. They are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, as I like to think of it, the Infinite Whatever.

Travel to thin places does not necessarily lead to anything as grandiose as a “spiritual breakthrough,” whatever that means, but it does disorient. It confuses. We lose our bearings, and find new ones. Or not. Either way, we are jolted out of old ways of seeing the world, and therein lies the transformative magic of travel.

It’s not clear who first uttered the term “thin places,” but they almost certainly spoke with an Irish brogue. The ancient pagan Celts, and later, Christians, used the term to describe mesmerizing places like the wind-swept isle of Iona (now part of Scotland) or the rocky peaks of Croagh Patrick. Heaven and earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.

So what exactly makes a place thin? It’s easier to say what a thin place is not. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one, though it may be all of those things too. Disney World is not a thin place. Nor is Cancún. Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves."



"Mircea Eliade, the religious scholar, would understand what I experienced in that Tokyo bar. Writing in his classic work “The Sacred and the Profane,” he observed that “some parts of space are qualitatively different from others.” An Apache proverb takes that idea a step further: “Wisdom sits in places.”

The question, of course, is which places? And how do we get there? You don’t plan a trip to a thin place; you stumble upon one. But there are steps you can take to increase the odds of an encounter with thinness. For starters, have no expectations. Nothing gets in the way of a genuine experience more than expectations, which explains why so many “spiritual journeys” disappoint. And don’t count on guidebooks — or even friends — to pinpoint your thin places. To some extent, thinness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Or, to put it another way: One person’s thin place is another’s thick one."



"Many thin places are wild, untamed, but cities can also be surprisingly thin. The world’s first urban centers, in Mesopotamia, were erected not as places of commerce or empire but, rather, so inhabitants could consort with the gods. What better place to marvel at the glory of God and his handiwork (via his subcontractors: us) than on the Bund in Shanghai, with the Jetsons-like skyscrapers towering above, or at Montmartre in Paris, with the city’s Gothic glory revealed below.

Bookstores are thin places, too, and, for me, none is thinner than Powell’s in Portland, Ore. Sure, there are grander bookstores, and older ones, but none quite possesses Powell’s mix of order and serendipity, especially in its used-book collection — Chekhov happily cohabitating with “Personal Finance for Dummies,” Balzac snuggling with Grisham.

Yet, ultimately, an inherent contradiction trips up any spiritual walkabout: The divine supposedly transcends time and space, yet we seek it in very specific places and at very specific times. If God (however defined) is everywhere and “everywhen,” as the Australian aboriginals put it so wonderfully, then why are some places thin and others not? Why isn’t the whole world thin?

Maybe it is but we’re too thick to recognize it. Maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked."

[See also (via litherland) http://jarrettfuller.tumblr.com/post/62312770603/making-thin-places-and-in-between-spaces ]
thinplaces  buddhism  spirituality  travel  2012  ericweiner  place  cathedrals  churches  nature  newdelhi  jerusalem  rumi  turkey  nepal  boudhanath  katmandu  shanghai  paris  montmartre  powell's  portland  oregon  bookstores  divine  god  nyc  istanbul  kongkong  airports  tokyo  japan 
december 2013 by robertogreco
B&B: Good drinks and good reads in Shimokitazawa | PingMag : Art, Design, Life – from Japan
[Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20151028003033/http://pingmag.jp/2013/04/22/bandb/ ]

"Times are changing for publishing. E-books are here to stay and publishers are trying out a range of digital strategies to entice new customers. The music industry was one step ahead and the large retailers like Tower Records and HMV have all felt the pain of declining business, replaced by iTunes and Amazon. Bookstores are likewise looking at an uncertain future.

Well, one answer to how bookstores can continue to bring in readers to shop may lie in a new type of bookseller that has opened in Shimokitazawa, the laid-back Tokyo neighborhood just west of Shibuya.

The formula is visible in the name: B&B. British readers might be forgiven for thinking the shop is actually a cheap form of accommodation (bed and breakfast), but the two b’s are even better than that — “Book & Beer”, two things we at PingMag certainly love. Having coffee and tea for sale in bookstores has been the norm in other parts of the world for years now, but B&B has opted for a more alcoholic version. There is a proper bar with beer on tap, meaning customers can browse while sipping a chilled bevy or read a purchase with a beer in hand.

But this isn’t just about drinking (there are countless bars in Shimokitazawa, after all!). The books are also highly curated, selected per theme and genre by the staff to match the concept of the store. In other words, the entire place is like a magazine.

We sat down with B&B owner Shintaro Uchinuma to chat about the Shimokita’s latest hangout."
bookstores  books  cafes  2013  pingmag  tokyo  japan  openstudioproject  booksellers  shimokitazawa  bookshops  retail  bookfuturism  b&b  publishing  ebooks 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Ray Bradbury’s Birthday, William Gibson, and Being Science-Fictional in Los Angeles | Space Canon
"Los Angeles, California, is arguably the science fiction capital of America. Blade Runner’s iconic sino-Futuristic downtown notwithstanding, there’s a strong historical lineage for science fiction in the Southland"

"I have been enjoying, very much, being a science fiction reader in Los Angeles. Not only does the city’s atmosphere of accreting globalization, total simultaneity, and neon lend itself perfectly to my inner wanderings, but the culture is alive and well."

"In order to induce the kind of cognitive dissonance we come to good science fiction for, one must have a yardstick for how weird it is right now. My yardstick of weirdness was too short to describe the weirdness outside my window." —William Gibson

Which is as fair a description of Los Angeles as I could summon right now: weirdness outside the window, ever-changing, and rife with exactly the kind of cognitive dissonance we come to good science fiction (and interesting cities) to experience."
bookstores  mysteryandimaginationbooks  thelastbookstore  northhollywood  glendale  books  cities  clairelevans  scifi  sciencefiction  2012  raybradbury  losangeles  williamgibson 
september 2012 by robertogreco
The K.I.D.S. Corner Library
"We placed a K.I.D.S. Corner Library at Leonard St. & Withers St. in north Brooklyn, in collaboration with Eyelevel BQE. The collection of the K.I.D.S. Corner Library is shown on this blog. If you are interested in the corner libraries, get in touch with Colin (Emcee C.M., Master of None). He is the contact person for the project and seeks input and collaboration from you and everyone else. His email is colin (at) emceecm (dot) com. We are especially interested in finding people interested in being Corner Librarians, especially in New York City, which means being responsible for checking your local Corner Library once a day to make sure it is running smoothly. Of course, we are also interested in library patrons and thoughtful contributions to the libraries, especially in the neighborhood where you live or work."
lcproject  nyc  kidscornerlibrary  cornerlibrarians  bookstores  via:sahelidatta  booklists  books  libraries  brooklyn 
december 2011 by robertogreco
the pop-hop: books & curio
"In early 2012, we will launch Pop-Hop Books & Curio, a creative retail space merging a bookshop and print studio in the Highland Park neighborhood of northeast Los Angeles. As a bookshop, we will specialize in art editions, literature, children's books, zines, and books as unique art objects. As a studio, we will offer workshops such as screen printing and book binding, as well as a forum for talks, readings, screenings and other creative programs and performances. It will be an environment that is inviting and approachable, dynamic and stimulating, a place that fosters inspiration and action in equal measure."

[See also: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/361643327/pop-hop-books-and-curio ]
glvo  srg  lcproject  galleries  bookstores  booksellers  highlandpark  print  printing  books  losangeles 
december 2011 by robertogreco
(party) per bend sinister ["Dexter Sinister is the compound name of David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey."]
"David graduated from the UNC in 1993, Yale in 1999, & went on to form O-R-G, a design studio in New York City. Stuart graduated from the University of Reading in 1994, the Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the arts journal Dot Dot Dot the same year. David currently teaches at Columbia University and Rhode Island School of Design. Stuart is currently involved in diverse projects at Parsons School of Design (NYC) and Pasadena Art Center (LA).

Dexter Sinister recently established a workshop in the basement at 38 Ludlow Street, on the Lower East Side in New York City. The workshop is intended to model a ‘Just-In-Time’ economy of print production, running counter to the contemporary assembly-line realities of large-scale publishing. This involves avoiding waste by working on-demand, utilizing local cheap machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production and distribution into one efficient activity."
dextersinister  davidreinfurt  stuartbailey  design  art  architecture  books  justintime  nyc  performance  production  booksellers  libraries  workshops  printing  publishing  bookstores  distribution  bookfuturism  efficiency  future 
july 2011 by robertogreco
17 Dexter Sinister: From the Toolbox of a Serving Library — Program Information — The Banff Centre
"In 2006 Dexter Sinister (David Reinfurt & Stuart Bailey) established a workshop & bookstore of same name in NY, & have since explored aspects of contemporary publishing in diverse contexts. As well as designing, editing, producing & distributing both printed & digital media, they have also worked w/ ambiguous roles & formats, usually in live contexts of galleries & museums. These projects generally play to some form of site-specificity, where a publication or series of events are worked out in public over a set period of time.

Dexter Sinister intend to slowly dissolve all such activities into one single institution, The Serving Library. This overarching project is founded on a consideration of how the role of the library has changed over time—from fixed archive, through circulating collection, to point of distribution. As much about The Library as social furniture as it is a specific model, the project ultimately returns to its point of departure: as a place for learning…"
dextersinister  davidreinfurt  stuartbailey  libraries  residency  bookstores  booksellers  nyc  publishing  art  galleries  museums  situatedart  situated  theservinglibrary  distribution  collections  circulation  archives  change  evolution  lcproject  learning  performance  exhibitions 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: It's not the rats you need to worry about
"Amazon and the Kindle have killed the bookstore. Why? Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever. The typical American buys just one book a year for pleasure. Those people are meaningless to a bookstore. It's the heavy users that matter, and now officially, as 2009 ends, they have abandoned the bookstore. It's over. When law firms started switching to fax machines, Fedex realized that the cash cow part of their business (100 or 1000 or more envelopes per firm per day) was over and switched fast to packages. Good for them."
books  kindle  fedex  booksellers  sethgodin  bookstores  marketing  itunes  ebooks  amazon 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Bookfuturism | mapping the future of reading [Background: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/4468]
"Bookfuturism.com is a digital commons and multi-user blog open to anyone interested in the future of reading. It's also a social network for bookfuturists - men and women who believe that books, bookshops, libraries, publishers, newspapers, authors, and readers have a future -- albeit one that may be radically different from the present -- and who want to participate in that future."
bookfuturism  books  innovation  publishing  copyright  googlebooks  future  bookstores  booksellers  technofuturism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
All the while, it was growing « Snarkmarket
"AN IDEA. I have an idea! ... More to the point — book­fu­tur­ists. I love it because the first word mod­i­fies the sec­ond as much as the other way around. A futur­ist (in the orig­i­nal sense) wants to burn down libraries. A book­fu­tur­ist wants to put video games in them. (And he wants one of those video games to be Lego Ham­let.) A book­fu­tur­ist, in other words, isn’t some­one who purely embraces the new and con­signs the old to the rub­bish heap. She’s always look­ing for things that blend her appre­ci­a­tion of the two. (The book­fu­tur­ist might be really into steampunk.) The book­fu­tur­ist is deeply dif­fer­ent from the two peo­ple he might oth­er­wise eas­ily be mis­taken for — the tech­no­fu­tur­ist and the book­ser­v­a­tive. Tech­no­fu­tur­ists and book­ser­v­a­tives HATE each other. Book­fu­tur­ists have some affec­tion for each of them, even if they both also drive him nuts. What do I mean by “tech­no­fu­tur­ists” and “book­ser­v­a­tives”? Well, I can show you."
bookfuturism  books  booksellers  change  bookstores  thebookworks  bookservatives  timcarmody  technofuturists 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Embracing eclecticism « Snarkmarket
"How will my book­store evolve over the next sev­eral decades? How can I retain the essence of what I do — and how the store serves the com­mu­nity? It’s sound­ing like the cur­rent model will be obso­lete pretty soon, at least in terms of finan­cial via­bil­ity. I can’t tell at this point how the Amer­i­can Book­sellers Asso­ci­a­tion is going to help us tran­si­tion to the near future, but I doubt there will be any rev­o­lu­tion­ary changes — they are advo­cates for too many indies to try any­thing too rad­i­cal too quickly. As for me, I’m plan­ning to stick around and fol­low your con­ver­sa­tions, per­haps try out an idea or two, and attempt to fash­ion a model that will fly in the real world. Maybe I’ll start a blog on the store web­site: Book­fu­tur­ism: A Case Study."
thebookworks  bookfuturism  snarkmarket  timcarmody  comments  friends  booksellers  bookstores  future  lisastefanacci 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Local Bookstores, Social Hubs, and Mutualization « Clay Shirky
"The core idea is to appeal to that small subset of customers who think of bookstores as their “third place”, alongside home and work. These people care about the store’s existence in physical (and therefore social) space; the goal would be to generate enough revenue from them to make the difference between red and black ink, and to make the new bargain not just acceptable but desirable for all parties. A small collection of patron saints who helped keep a local bookstore open could be cheaply smothered in appreciation by the culture they help support...All of which is to say that trying to save local bookstores from otherwise predictably fatal competition by turning some customers into members, patrons, or donors is an observably crazy idea. However, if the sober-minded alternative is waiting for the Justice Department to anoint the American Booksellers Association as a kind of OPEC for ink, even crazy ideas may be worth a try."
bookselling  books  business  clayshirky  adaptation  community  trends  publishing  digital  bookstores  culture  future  online  local  thirdplaces  social  media  activism  commerce  thebookworks  bookfuturism  technofuturism  thirdspaces 
november 2009 by robertogreco
D.G.Wills Books
"La Jolla's largest collection of new and used scholarly books; and home of the La Jolla Cultural Society"
books  lajolla  bookstores  sandiego 
november 2009 by robertogreco
idlewild books NYC
"A bookstore organized by country, Idlewild carries fiction and non-fiction from all parts of the world, including new and classic works in translation, travel guides, books about politics and culture, graphic lit, language-learning books, maps and more.
travel  nyc  bookstores  shopping  location  literature 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Books on the Border
"discusses the challenge to an old German law forcing uniform pricing on books. Contrary to default American economic assumptions, this price-fixing has resulted in a more diverse bookstore market, with downward pressure on book pricing."
publishing  books  bookstores  economics  europe  germany  law  literature 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The Smart Set: Here's To the Death of the "Death of" Article - October 12, 2007
"problem with both Luddites and Technorati ...tend to moralize technology itself, [as] “good” or “bad” by definition, rather than simply representing a number of blank, inert platforms for...human storytelling impulse. It’s the stuff on...pages
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  writing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future  storytelling  stories  literature  luddites 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Conversational Reading: Bookstore Obsolescence
"aggravating when I can't find what I want in a bookstore...pretty much impossible not to find a copy...on the web. But therein lies the irony--often when I haven't found what I've wanted in a bookstore, I've continued to browse...found something even bet
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Bookstores Begin Slow Descent Into Obsolescence - Publishing 2.0
""Browsing bookstore shelves used to be one of the best ways to experience the power of the miscellaneous — now it is only a pale shadow of what the Web and digital information makes possible." - but there are other ways they may live on
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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