While economists continue to measure holiday retail sales figures like meteorologists watching a storm front, the New York Times
reported that "most small retailers, which cannot afford either the price cuts or the expensive advertising, are doing something else this year: making a virtue of their size."
One example of creative marketing cited was Creekside Books & Coffee, Skaneateles, N.Y., where "owner, Erika Davis, recently started offering corporations a program for buying gifts for employees and clients. She held a wine and cheese evening in October to promote it and says the promotion could add about 5 percent to total revenue."
"Old booksellers never quit, " John Barringer told the Charlotte Observer in an article on his transition from retired owner of a Little Professor bookstore to "helping out" at a Habitat ReStore in Charlotte, N.C., which "turned to Barringer when they decided to start selling donated books. They had pallet after pallet in storage. Barringer guesses there were some 20,000 volumes."
"This is the kind of fun that bookselling used to be," said Barringer
Urban Think bookstore, Orlando, Fla., is "close
to perfection." The Tampa Tribune praised the shop
as "a book lover's bookstore, with rows of literature and contemporary
fiction, a section by Florida authors and cases full of books about
travel, urban planning, pets, art, philosophy and poetry."
Bruce and Medea Harris bought majority interest in Urban Think four
years ago. "I'm a book nut," said Bruce, "and we used to go to Urban
Think on date night. It has a hip, urban feel."
The Amargi Woman Academy has opened a feminist bookstore in Istanbul, according to the Turkish Daily News. Pinar Salek, one of the bookshop's founders, said, "The path we walk on will improve by meeting readers face to face, and discussing different books will direct us."
The Des Moines Register profiled a number of area indies, including the Book Store, Beaverdale Books and East Village Books. Customers had their say, including a Book Store patron who told the Register that knowing owner John Heitzman "is like having a book concierge to help select reading material from the thousands of books that get published each year."
The Idaho Mountain Express noted that "the holidays are heydays for booksellers" in a piece about upcoming book events in the region. Iconoclast Books and Chapter One were featured.
Spinning off a traditional Dickensian Christmas theme, several well-known authors were polled by the Guardian to choose their favorite books of the past, present and future.
"Our reason for opening a bookstore is simple--to live a life we feel worth living," Dennis Chan, co-owner of You He Book, Taipei, told the Taiwan Journal, which added that, "in a time when the decreasing interest in literature is so often lamented, independent bookstore You He Book is bucking the trend. By catering to art and style, the store has increased its profile due to its active participation in Taipei's literary scene."
The Boston Globe
highlighted Brattle Book Shop's owner Ken Gloss and the "thousands of
books for $1, $3, and $5 in the outside lot next to his Downtown
Crossing store. For about 20 years, Gloss has moved overflow books to
outside carts and shelves when titles are plentiful and demand is low
(maybe Valley of the Dolls?). And like the old Filene's
Basement markdown policy, prices are lowered over time. The $1 books
that don't move are donated to various causes."
In an interesting variation on the prevailing theme of holiday book
gift lists, the Boston Globe ventured north to sample regional cookbooks at the Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, N.H., where
the Globe "was pleasantly surprised to find a shelf full of local
More Book Gift Picks:
The Detroit Free Press featured "books to warm up a Christmas morning."
Children's books that "bring us old, familiar
messages just in time for the holidays" and
"books that give kids a taste of other cultures" were showcased in the
Los Angeles Times.
On the Today Show, Cosmopolitan magazine's book editor chose "10 books that make perfect presents."
Coffee table books that are "big, they're bodacious and they look great with a big bow wrapped around them" were highlighted by Salon.
Slate picked "the best books of 2007."
The Washington Post listed "gift books we'd love to be on the receiving end of (to put it ungrammatically)."
A "bouquet of books could be perfect gifts for children," the Flint Journal advised.
What, no Anna Karenina? The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
blog featured a video trailer for the going-out-of-business sale of
Loome Antiquarian Booksellers, Stillwater, Minn., in which "the books
act out their favorite literary death scenes."