Books as a 'Pillar of Culture Not as a Unit of Sales'
"The biggest and most frustrating challenge with bookselling right now is that nearly everything that affects us is out of our control. There's nothing we can do about Amazon's business practices, or the Department of Justice's insane lawsuit, or the consolidation of the industry or the changes in reading technology. So we respond, adjust, adapt. We sell e-books, we carry more gift items because they have a better profit margin, we organize buy local campaigns in our communities and fight for sales tax fairness in our legislatures. We get on social media, we try different kinds of events, we create interesting displays, we sell the hell out of the books we love, but none of that reaches the boardrooms where the big decisions are made. If I could get one wish from the ghost of Sylvia Beach, it's that she, or someone who cares about the inherent value of books, gets a seat in those boardrooms to advocate for readers not consumers, for books as a pillar of culture not as a unit of sales, and for bookstores as community centers not retail outlets and merchandise showrooms. And yes, I can totally see my house from the high horse I'm on right now."