The Independent Bookseller

by Cristy Meiners, producer

If you’re the bookish type, there’s a good chance you love nothing more than a good wander through your favorite independent bookstore.  We lovers of intimate, cozy bookstore can rattle off the names of our favorites just as easily (and in some case much easier) as the names of our favorite movies.  My top three contenders?

Iconoclast in Ketchum, Idaho; Sam Weller’s in Salt Lake City (a used, rare, and new bookstore); and the Tattered Cover in Denver.  I once read Bridget Jones’ Diary in full one afternoon at the Tattered Cover, and I’d like to take this opportunity to issue an apology to the store owners for not buying it at that time.  But the chair was so comfy and I was having such a nice time that before I knew it, the book was done. 

Although independent booksellers are in tight competition with the likes of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Costco, all booksellers are looking for ways to reinvent themselves and stay afloat in a bad economy.  For the third day of our publishing series, Bob’s talks with Cathy Langer, head buyer for Denver’s Tattered Cover, about how independent booksellers are responding to digital books, on-line sales, and larger competition.  Langer sits on the board for the American Bookseller’s Association and is a former president of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.  In 2003, Langer was named the Gordon Saull Bookseller of the Year.

Here is Adam Penenberg’s  Fast Company article about the price of book placement:

And here’s the current retail numbers from Association of American Publishers (not, as Bob stated in his intro, the American Association of Publishers)