Teens prefer bricks-and-mortar

I do love studies and when it comes to trends and young people, it’s fascinating to see how they like to shop, how they view themselves, and how that relates to the retail business. So when I saw the link … Continue reading

Bookselling as an Art & Science

Today’s op-ed piece by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “Don’t Dismiss the Humanities” is a reminder that we need diversity in our lives … from decisions we make in government, business and non-profit organizations to our own lives and … Continue reading

Booksellers and Values-Driven Business

In today’s issue of Shelf-Awareness, Hachette’s CEO Michael Pietsch was quoted as offering thanks to booksellers for their support during their difficulties with Amazon. While some may say that indie booksellers had good reason to support Hachette since Amazon has … Continue reading

What’s the Book that Changed Your Life?

It’s a wonderful topic! And, you’ll see magazines pose the question to authors and celebrities, but it’s also a perfect question for bookstores to ask their customers … and to use on shelf-talkers around the store. Once you get on … Continue reading

Bookstores as Centers for Lifelong Learning

It’s a big, broad universe with the richness of cultures, ideas, opinions, and discoveries. In a bookstore, that’s the energy you feel by coming in, looking around, browsing and finding books to take home, and attending a presentation. It’s a … Continue reading

Common Core Challenges to Bookstores

Common Core … what could be detrimental about reading class and contemporary literature? Efforts are well under way to undermine the effort to improve education, teach the ability to learn and apply critical thinking skills, and have exposure to worlds … Continue reading

“Biblio Diversity” Championed by Europeans

I marvel at American booksellers for their tenacity and I envy European booksellers for the support they get from their countries. From big box stores to Amazon, they’ve stuck to their principles even when predatory pricing presents tremendous hurdles to … Continue reading

When You Buy a Bookstore

How can you not be overjoyed to hear that a bookstore you’ve loved is available … and you could become the next owner?! For many, owning a bookstore is a dream come true. You’ve spent your life so far doing … Continue reading

Bookstore Birth Announcements

Imagine celebrating a lifelong dream of opening a bookstore. This week, I’d like to share stories of two smart, remarkable women who took the fork in the career road to pursue something that “just would not let go” … owning … Continue reading

Kids and the Future of Bookselling

Saturday marked the inaugural Storytime Day and independent booksellers across the country partnered with children’s book authors and illustrators to host events in bookstores across the country. The stories and photos were precious … children engaged their imaginations as adults … Continue reading

New Energy in Retail Bookselling

Yesterday was the last day of our five-day workshop retreat dedicated to Owning a Bookstore. This morning, I woke up thinking about all of the smart, creative, inquisitive people who have had the idea of owning a bookstore that “just … Continue reading

Celebrating the Best in Bookselling

For the last twenty-two years, there are two days in the year that are my absolute favorite: the day all of the nominations for Publishers Weekly’s Bookstore and Rep of the Awards are in and the day I get to … Continue reading

Where Have All the Bookstores Gone?

It’s not that everyone has chosen to read e-books. In fact, when communities poll people for what they want, bookstores rank #1 or #2 for the most desirable businesses. Today’s issue of The New York Times tells the story of … Continue reading

B&N Opens Door of Opportunity

In the latest book industry news, Barnes & Noble has announced that it will be close more than 200 stores over the next decade. While some in the mass media are sure to see this as further evidence of their … Continue reading

Indie Bookstores Outpace General Retail

Throughout the holiday season, we’d been carefully watching the National Retail Federation’s daily reports on the outlook for retailers. There was lots of talk about how social media would be aggressively used, along with steep discounting to attract customers into … Continue reading

Bookstore Is Transformed with Make-Over

The idea for the Bookstore Make-Over Contest as a way to celebrate our 20th year in business stemmed from one core belief: the future of retail bookselling is about creating a remarkable in-store experience, something authentic and palpable that you … Continue reading

Left Bank Construction Surprise

The bookstore make-over project at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri continues with the demolition of a half wall lining the staircase to the lower level. The construction project brought surprises … and an affirmation that our design choices would return the store to its authentic beginnings. Continue reading

Bookstore Make-Over, Chapter 2

The store make-over project continues at Left Bank Books with new paint colors and an updated planogram for the bookstore. Store design principles help us group merchandise categories, place fixtures on the sales floor, and define a traffic path so customers travel throughout the entire space. The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates selected Left Bank Books for its 20th Anniversary Bookstore Make-Over Project this July. The project is scheduled to be completed by October 15, 2012. Continue reading

Make-over Opportunities at Left Bank Books

Even though we’ve worked on several “bookstore makeover” projects by simply looking at photos and talking with staff, it’s amazing just how much more can be gleaned from an on-site visit. So one day last week, we visited Left Bank … Continue reading

Bookstore Make-Over Winner Announced

Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri is the recipient of the Bookstore Make-Over Project sponsored by The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates to celebrate their twentieth anniversary serving independent bookstores. Seventeen bookstores from across the U.S. entered … Continue reading

An Uncommon Definition of Success

Each year, Publishers Weekly presents two major book industry awards at BookExpo America: Bookstore of the Year and Rep of the Year. Recipients of those awards exemplify success by having been recognized for their work. Success is usually equated with … Continue reading

One Big Tent

Communities want independent bookstores not just as a place to buy books, but as a gathering place for human interaction, inspiration for lifetime learning, and a place to go to get away from the craziness of life. Workshop graduates are planning to open indie bookstores from Florida to California and points in between. Borders has left a gap in many communities and entire markets are ready for their own community-centered bookstore.
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Ann Patchett’s Pulpit

Her talents reach far and wide, yet Ann Patchett has chosen to use her talents, media attention, and energy to speak up for the value of indie bookstores. As a special guest on Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Report on Comedy Central, … Continue reading

Sales & Spirits Up

During the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in New Orleans last month, there were high spirits — even before the first cocktail party. From the moment booksellers began arriving in the city that embodies strength and resilience, everyone began comparing … Continue reading

What do you say after you say ‘hello’?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “A customer walks into a bookstore … and leaves empty-handed.”

When you consider that exceptional customer service is one of the few competitive advantages that an indie bookstore can rightfully claim, it’s mind-boggling … Continue reading

Cloistered Lives in a Technological World

A critically important book was published last week, one that should shake up our mindsets and prompt us to think about how the use of technology by major corporations is shaping how we understand our place in the world. Eli … Continue reading

Material Culture

In the midst of the e-book craze, we’re learning how important printed materials are to us. From convenience and sharing to the lasting value and presence in our homes, printed books will endure. Continue reading

What It Takes for a Bookstore to Remain Relevant

Every other day, it seems that we’ll hear a prediction of the demise of brick-and-mortar bookstores and public libraries. For the most part, these doomsday voices believe that digital content is a perfectly acceptable alternative to print media. Some are … Continue reading

Material Culture

Reading options are many, yet a home library filled with books we’ve read and loved remind us of who we are and what we value. Continue reading

Creative New Paths

We are beginning a brand new era. Just when some members of the media proclaimed that the ebook would kill bookstores, people are speaking up, finding ways to see indie bookstores in their communities continue to keep the doors open. … Continue reading

Fixtures & Inventory for Sale: Columbia, Maryland

Beautiful, light wood bookstore fixtures for sale. The style and design can be seen at www.franklinfixtures.com
Our fixtures are-Franklin’s design -clear birch finish – plywood (not MDF) with adjustable and reinforced shelves.
There are 26 tall cases; 3 islands medium height; 3 islands on wheels; 4 smaller shelves; 3 end caps; Cast iron breakfront for display; Art unit; 2 front desk and/or receiving units; custom made curved front counter. We also have custom made section signs to match the shelves. Continue reading

Bookstore for Sale: Fredericksburg, VA

Bookstore and coffee bar for sale on main street in beautiful historic building (1831) in Fredericksburg. Approximately 60% new books and 40% used books (6-7000 volumes). Also cards and gift items. All equipment, fixtures, furniture and rugs included.
Lease is up in March and can be renegotiated with landlord. European-style courtyard in back and two full stories of books and gifts. Handicap access bathroom. Voted Best Book Store in Fredericksburg 2009. Located half way between Washington, DC and Richmond, VA off of I95. Civil War Battle Grounds destination Home of University of Mary Washington College. Continue reading

Bookstore for Sale: Gainesville, FL

North Central Florida’s largest independent bookstore. Highly literate population in Florida’s premier university town. Named in numerous publications as one of the top ten places to live. 4500 sq foot leased building, huge email list of regular customers, customer base includes many teachers and students; very steady and profitable internet sales—new and previously owned books. Continue reading

Bookstore Wanted: Roseville, CA

Lifestyle Center across from the Roseville Galleria is seeking an independent bookstore for the center anchored by Whole Foods, Peet’s coffee, Sur la table, Z Gallerie, West Elm and Anthropologie. Continue reading

Bookstore Wanted: Northern California, Dunsmuir

Lovely alpine village in natural setting seeks bookstore entrepreneur and other small businesses. Dunsmuir has a historic downtown with buildings in architectural styles preserved from the 1920s through the 1940s and is nestled in the Sacramento River canyon. Continue reading

Bookstore for Sale: Mountain Home, Arkansas

Beautiful, well organized bookstore located in the Twin Lakes region of the Ozarks, rated as one of the top retirement havens in the US. Reader’s Choice Books has been in operation for three years and the 1200 SF store is netting over $28,000 and growing. Owner is retiring and moving. Continue reading

Blue About Borders

Borders decline is a sad unfolding, not necessarily about the growth of ebook sales. It was a company that lost its soul when it went from an indie bookstore to a publicly traded ‘entity’. Continue reading

Small is Smart

Today’s news about Borders continues to accentuate the company’s difficulties in meeting its financial obligations to vendors ad landlords. The big box bookstore is proving difficult to sustain and the unfortunate result of the company closing more stores is that … Continue reading

Ebook Fascination

Hamlet likely wasn’t the first to ponder matters of life and death, but the question he poses in his famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be,” remains as relevant today as ever before – especially for independent booksellers. Of … Continue reading

Enduring Value

Getting out of the country even for a short while is a guaranteed way to be able to clear the mind and gain a broader perspective. It’s refreshing to see villages and cities with landscapes that are not filled with … Continue reading

Let’s Get Physical

Last week we hosted prospective booksellers from across the United States and as far away as the Kingdom of Bahrain to discuss retailing in general, bookselling in particular, and the needs, desires and expectations of today’s reader. Together, we contemplated … Continue reading

Where There is a Will, There’s a Way

Whether we’re reading a classic novel or a new children’s picture book, it’s touching to see the little guy win. We root for the underdog with a valiant cause, valuing a noble struggle against all odds. Yet the whole concept … Continue reading

Indie Resiliency

It’s been a tough week for corporate bookstores. Indie bookstore owners watch, listen, plan, and adjust. It’s easier when you’re navigating a smaller boat. Continue reading