September 22nd, 2011 / 2:48 pm
Behind the Scenes

“Relationships first, sales second.”

To further the conversation, here are two things about “community” and bookstores that have influenced my thinking on the subject.

First, above, is video of a talk by the amazing Matthew Stadler. In it, he discusses the future of the brick and mortar bookstore. It’s the source of the title for this post.

The second is a short essay from my local alt-weekly, The Stranger. In it, Books Editor Paul Constant takes all the talk of community building and asks someone to go ahead and put up (or rent out) an actual building:

So here’s what we need: a fairly large bar, nothing fancy, not too expensive. Open almost all the time. Maybe a typewriter here or there for ambience. Ratty books on shelves. Some sort of an area that can easily become a stage. Chairs. Tables. No TV, no Wi-Fi. No nattering blogs or flickering videos to distract from the words you’re writing, speaking, or reading. A jukebox stuffed with Edith Frost, the Magnetic Fields, and the Pogues. That’s about it for the hardware.

Both are on the right track, I think.

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  1. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      These are wonderful shares, but be it know Chicago officially registers complaint with this sentence: “Seattle is the biggest literary city in the United States aside from New York City.”


  2. Matthew Simmons

      Heh. Forgive me while I emote by way of icon:


      (Also, really enjoyed “Sequins”!)

  3. Travis Nichols

      Stadler is always on the outside looking out.  Which I like.  Thanks for posting this, Matthew.

  4. Judson

      I’d add Stars of the Lid to that jukebox.