Monday, May 17, 2010

Indie bookstore isn't dead after all

I was upset to see that a former haunt of mine, Bookworks in Aptos, California, seemed to be kaput. I used to spend hours in the store, guzzling coffee, reading the magazines and buying just enough inventory to upgrade myself from "loiterer'' to "frequent customer.'' Stopping in to browse through this charming store, I saw some ugly brown wrapping on the windows last week, along with a notice saying that the space was being turned into, of all things, a bike store. (I love bikes, but this area has bicycle outlets the way Haight-Ashbury has creperies and stinky bong emporiums.)

Fortunately, the store has merely moved, although it's smaller than before.


Anonymous said...

It is always sad to read about the struggles of independent bookstores. Unfortunately, none of us seem to have any great ideas to keep them alive. Some things just die and this might be one of those lines of businesses.

cactuseaters said...

Good point -- i always try to support indie bookstores as much as I can. To me they're more than stores. They are meeting places, cafes, salons, event spaces. (And they have a lot of flexibility in terms of events, promotions, etc. I've had great experiences working with a bunch of them as an author -- Bookshop Santa Cruz, the Capitola Book Cafe and the Booksmith in California and the Secret Garden bookstore in Seattle, to name just a few.) They offer the kind of experience you really can't get anywhere else. I can't tell you how many author events I've seen in these places; it's like getting another creative writing degree for free.

Anonymous said...

I agree. All we can do is fight the good fight and hope something changes before they all die off. I love attending the events they host.