About This Blog

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not on board with the whole ebook thing. I enjoy books in all their formats. But there is nothing quite like a bookstore with its neatly arranged shelves of books and artfully created displays of new arrivals, best sellers, and suggested reading. I especially enjoy discovering small, independent bookstores and have made it my mission to visit and report back on as many of these gems as I can. That is my focus, but there is really nothing that is off limits as long as it is about books or reading. Hope you enjoy my blog and come back often.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bookseller With a Social Purpose

Better World Books

One of the most unique booksellers I have encountered, Better World Books is an online bookstore with a social mission. Founded in 2002 by two friends from the University of Notre Dame, this online store sells used books that are donated via drop boxes in a multitude of locations in several states. A for-profit enterprise, Better World Books successfully combines commerce with social goals. In addition to profit, this bookseller is equally committed to people and the planet. Over 100 million books have been reused or recycled keeping them out of landfills, over 9 million books have been donated, and over 14 million dollars have been raised for literacy and libraries.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Missed a Good One

Book House
9719 Manchester Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63119

It always saddens me to hear of a bookstore closing. That sadness is only intensified when the store in question is a beloved part of the community it serves. I was recently made aware of one such sad case in St. Louis. The Book House is a family-owned business residing in an old Victorian house. By all accounts, business has been great for this store, yet it is in danger of closing to make room for--are you ready for this?--an industrial storage facility.

There is currently a petition to save the Book House. I certainly hope it is successful, as this is just the kind of store that I would add to my hope-to-visit list. Check out this blog post by author Cory Doctorow about the potential closing.

I am sad to report that a similar fate recently befell a Michigan bookstore that I had the pleasure of visiting early in my blogging career in 2011. Like the Book House, Brilliant Books in Suttons Bay was not forced to close because of any lack of business or failing on the part of the owners and staff. Sadly, Brilliant Books closed this past March simply because the landlord no longer wished to lease the building to the bookstore. I am glad that I had the opportunity to visit the store while it was still an integral part of the small town of Suttons Bay.

Unlike the Book House, however, Brilliant Books fortunately lives on with a store in nearby Traverse City opened a little over a year ago. Nonetheless, the original store in Suttons Bay will be dearly missed.