Independent Bookstore Feature
Not sure why we didn’t cotton on to this sooner, but Maud Newton’s running a fantastic series of articles on independent bookstores this month.
So far, she’s had:
Jim Hanas write on Burke’s Book Store in Memphis, TN;
Mark Athitakis on DC’s Books for America;
Sean Carman on D.C.’s Kramerbooks and Afterwords;
Marco Romano on Albany’s Dove & Hudson;
Marie Mockett on San Francisco’s Green Apple Books;
Lorraine Martindale on Bloomington’s Caveat Emptor;
and Stephen Elliott on San Francisco’s Adobe Books.
My personal favorite so far is Chris Lehmann’s piece, also on DC’s Books for America, which begins
Among its many other well-documented disappointments, Washington is badly fixed for good bookstores. The city’s permanent standing army of wonks and think tankers either feast on free review copies or do their grimly efficient intellectual trading at the standard B and N or Borders outposts. And that means that stores that traffic in literary-cum-indie fare are either too embattled (e.g., the well-meaning but erratically stocked Chapters, in downtown’s revived Penn Plaza neighborhood), too self-satisfied (the outer Northwest depot of bien-pensant reading, Politics and Prose, which does for written smugness what NPR does for the broadcast audio kind), or too fraudulent (the overhyped Kramerbooks and Afterwords in DuPont, pretty much a Yuppie pick-up venue decorated haphazardly with Times bestsellers) to satisfy hard-core browsers.