Bookstore, by Lynne Tillman

I was gifted this book a couple years ago but held off on reading it because it looked, well, rather dull. Now that I'm planning on opening my own bookstore, it seems the perfect bit of research. "Bookstore" is essentially a ghost-written autobiography of Books & Co., a famous independent bookstore that operated in New York for twenty years, and Jeanette Watson, its owner. Told mainly through the words of those who frequented, worked at, and loved Books & Co. with Jeanette's narration for structure, this is a lively remembrance of what increasingly seems to be a bygone era. Books & Co. was a place where writers and readers could mingle, and where all the writers were readers as well, where one could always find eccentric works by obscure authors that were always fantastic. The anecdotes are fun and intelligent, and this ended up being quite a good read.

For me, of course, the book serves as a reference on, to be honest, what NOT to do when opening up a bookstore of one's own. From buying to customer service to leases, I've learned many invaluable things about the independent book business, and I will absolutely use what I read to help in my own endeavors.


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