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Rebel Bookseller: Why Indie Bookstores Represent Everything You Want to Fight for from Free Speech to Buying Local to Building Communities

av Andrew Laties

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671396,697 (3.67)Ingen/inga
"The revival of independent bookselling has already begun and is one of the amazing stories of our times. Bookseller Andy Laties wrote the first edition of Rebel Bookseller six years ago, hoping it would spark a movement. Now, with this second edition, Laties's book can be a rallying cry for everyone who wants to better understand how the rise of the big bookstore chains led irrevocably to their decline, and how even in the face of electronic readers from three of America's largest and most successful companies--Apple, Amazon, and Google--the movement to support locally owned independent stores, especially bookstores, is on the rise. From the mid-1980s to the present, Andy Laties has been an independent bookseller, starting out in Chicago, teaching along the way at the American Booksellers Association, and finally running the bookshop at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. His innovations were adapted by Barnes & Noble, Zany Brainy, and scores of independent stores. In Rebel Bookseller, Laties tells how he got started, how he kept going, and why he believes independent bookselling has a great future. He alternates his narrative with short anecdotes, interludes between the chapters that give his credo as a bookseller. Along the way, he explains the growth of the chains, and throws in a treasure trove of tips for anyone who is considering opening up a bookstore. Rebel Bookseller is a must read for those in the book biz, a testament to the ingeniousness of one man man's story of making a life out of his passionate commitment to books and bookselling"--… (mer)
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There are three things going on in this book.

1) There's Andy Laties' memoir of his education and experience in the book selling biz, which is entertainingly told but not of any independent interest (I would never have heard of him without this book). Seems like a nice guy, if a bit hyper.

2) There's his analysis of that experience, shaped into guidelines for running your own independent bookstore. This includes parts of the historical context (the rise and fall of chains, the metastasis of B&N, the economic deformations of publishing) which are essential to understanding the present moment. This part is generally great—inspiring, empowering even—although from time to time it's clear that Laties' experience is really with specialty bookstores (children's and museum stores), rather than general independents, which don't have the benefit of a clearly pre-defined market.

3) There's what's promised in the subtitle, which is hardly in the book at all, not even in Bill Ayers' afterword. Laties is opposed to the corporate model of publishing and bookselling—Random House and Barnes & Noble, and now Amazon—but that doesn't make him a rebel. There's no discussion of truly small presses (the kind without corporate distribution), alternative economic models, or a bookstore's community role other than hosting events which attract consumers. There are enticing hints, particularly Laties' tale of touring the east coast's great lefty bookstores (Bluestockings, Wooden Shoe, Red Emma's) for Seth Tobocman's Understanding the Crash—but that chapter mainly discusses the rise of Amazon and the difficulty of sidestepping its marketing automatons.

As inspiration for opening a bookstore, Rebel Bookseller is great. As a book itself, particularly in the politics promised on its cover, it's a bit disappointing. ( )
1 rösta localcharacter | Apr 2, 2013 |
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"The revival of independent bookselling has already begun and is one of the amazing stories of our times. Bookseller Andy Laties wrote the first edition of Rebel Bookseller six years ago, hoping it would spark a movement. Now, with this second edition, Laties's book can be a rallying cry for everyone who wants to better understand how the rise of the big bookstore chains led irrevocably to their decline, and how even in the face of electronic readers from three of America's largest and most successful companies--Apple, Amazon, and Google--the movement to support locally owned independent stores, especially bookstores, is on the rise. From the mid-1980s to the present, Andy Laties has been an independent bookseller, starting out in Chicago, teaching along the way at the American Booksellers Association, and finally running the bookshop at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. His innovations were adapted by Barnes & Noble, Zany Brainy, and scores of independent stores. In Rebel Bookseller, Laties tells how he got started, how he kept going, and why he believes independent bookselling has a great future. He alternates his narrative with short anecdotes, interludes between the chapters that give his credo as a bookseller. Along the way, he explains the growth of the chains, and throws in a treasure trove of tips for anyone who is considering opening up a bookstore. Rebel Bookseller is a must read for those in the book biz, a testament to the ingeniousness of one man man's story of making a life out of his passionate commitment to books and bookselling"--

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