independant bookstores

Image: Bookshelves at Amazon’s New York City store. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Back when Amazon first introduced the Kindle, and e-books were all the rage, a lot of people thought printed books and the stores that sell them were going the way of dinosaurs. But a decade later, print is outselling digital, and many independent bookstores are thriving. Even Amazon is opening brick-and-mortar stores (seven so far).

NPR’s Lynn Neary looks at how indie and chain bookshop are setting themselves apart from the competition.

Be More Than A Bookstore: A Brick-And-Mortar Shop’s Key To Success

An incomplete list of my favorite customer interactions
  • A phone call: 
    • Me: Thank you for calling This Bookstore, how can I help?
    • Customer: I’d like to talk to Tom please.
    • Me:…there’s no one named Tom who works here.
    • Customer: this is This Bookstore, right?
    • Me: yes. 
    • Customer: Then I’d like to speak to Tom
    • Me: Sir I’ve worked here for a year and a half, and there hasn’t been anyone named Tom. 
    • Customer: well can I leave a message for him? 
  • A different phone call: 
    • Me: Thank you for calling This Bookstore, how can I help?
    • Customer: I’d like you to order something in for me. 
    • Me: Sure! Do you have the ISBN or the author’s name or the title? 
    • Customer: it’s a vinyl record. 
    • Me: we’re a bookstore?
    • Customer: Yes. I’d like you to order it for me off Amazon. 
    • Me: You want us, an independent bookstore, to order you vinyl records off Amazon
    • Customer: yes. 
    • Me: Sir, that’s not a service we provide. 
    • Customer: Well I don’t believe in credit cards or the internet so I need you to do it for me. 
  • Yet another phone call: 
    • Customer: Yes I’d like to order this book in. 
    • Me: Our distributors don’t carry that book, sir. I can see about getting a used copy in. 
    • Customer: Sure!
    • Me: Okay, it looks like the used copy is going to be $122 plus our handling fee. 
    • Customer: Google says it’s $42.
    • Me: Then your best option is probably to order it online. 
    • Customer: Okay. Do you have the phone number so I can call google? 
  • Feel free to add your own
here are some non-depressing nursey headcanons

for @brunch-at-jerrys on her birthday! 

brought to you by my absolute lack of chill and undying love for this huge nerd

  • has a favorite coffee shop in almost every part of manhattan. they are never chains and usually have weird/quirky shit on their menu, but the coffee is always amazing. he is absolutely That Guy who will tell you Starbucks is overpriced, shit-quality coffee.
  • despite that: Gregory’s is his guilty pleasure. He fucking loves Gregory’s coffee. He and his moms and his sister did one of their coffee seminars once and he will rant about it for hours even if it turned him into a Coffee Snob.
  • Pottermore sorted him into Gryffindor and he had a literal fucking identity crisis because he convinced himself for years he was a Ravenclaw (because he’s a Chill Intellectual). told his sister and she laughed her ass off because “are you fucking kidding me you get pissed so easily and you will literally fight about shit for hours you are made of lies” “you’re made of lies” “do you want to have this fight again”)
  • speaking of his sister, let me tell you my Farah Nurse feels
    • she’s four years and five grades ahead of him; they’ve never been in the same school
    • their relationship is simultaneously overprotective, sappy, and chirpy as fuck
    • Nursey would never offer to fight a dude who messed with her but only because he knows she can do it herself and also he’s slightly fucking scared of her
    • getting a Master’s at NYU in Humanities and Social Thought
    • we’re getting off track but I’m Love Her
  • anyway
  • back to my sweet hipster poet son Derek
  • has a sixth sense for finding secondhand and independent bookstores and is physically incapable of walking past one without going in
    • this has caused significant delays to a lot of family outings
    • they learn to budget for it
    • “Farah, where’s your brother–oh, never mind. Derek, I’m starting the clock you have ten minutes and that means if we pass another one you’ll have less time.”
  • is actually? terrible?? at regulating his temperature. like he’ll be hot one second and cold ten seconds later. it’s why he always dresses in layers. 
    • Farah is always cool and Room Temperature. Derek hates her.
    • no he doesn’t.
  • doesn’t eat a lot of meat really ever? his ammi keeps halal but his mama’s not big on meat at all (“It’s not good for the planet, baby” “Ammi, Mama’s ranting about global warming again!”) so they don’t really have meat at home so by the time he gets to andover he’s used to eating vegetarian or fish most of the time, and he’ll eat chicken occasionally but he doesn’t really eat red meat bc he lost the taste for it and he never eats pork.
  • if asked, he’ll tell people his favorite poet is Neruda, because people get the name recognition, and Neruda is up there with on his faves list. but Farah gets him a bilingual edition of Reinaldo Arenas’s poetry before she leaves for Andover and he reads the whole thing and something inside him just–clicks
    • he’s not sure if he’s never going to breathe again or if his lungs just never worked right before now, but it’s the most beautiful feeling he’s ever had
  • fucking hates staten island. 
    • just. why.

This year, Free Comic Book Day turns sixteen years old.

The good news: It can drive itself to swim practice now!

The bad news: When you ask it to drive its younger siblings Record Store Day and Independent Bookstore Day to Gymboree it’ll give you THAT LOOK IT GETS and spend the rest of the day sulking.

Here’s the gist: Walk into a comic shop this Saturday, May 6, and you’ll get some free comic books.

A Guide To Free Comic Book Day 2017: The Don’t-Misses And The Near-Misses

Photo: Diamond Comic Distributors