The book industry is going through changes, influenced by trends like the transition from print to digital. And it looks like no part of this industry is being influenced like bookstores. From independent bookstores to the big chains like B&N and Borders - no one seems to be immune to these changes.
Will Barnes & Noble be the next one to go bankrupt after Borders? And what about independent bookstores? Which bookstores will survive and how exactly? Read the latest stories and updates on this issue. We hope you will find these resources useful!
Amazon has 22.6% of the book market — ahead of Barnes & Noble (17.3%), Borders (8.1%), Books-A-Million (3%) and independents (6%) (source:
Prof. Albert Greco, Fordham University)
More than 1,000 bookstores closed from 2000 through 2007, leaving about 10,600 (source: Latest federal statistics)
All stores are closed.
Barnes & Noble: B&N
has 705 stores with 18.4 million square feet, not including B&N college stores. If you take into account the college stores, B&N
operates 1,341 stores in total (Source: Form 10-Q for BARNES & NOBLE INC, March 2011)
American Bookstores Association (ABA) has today 1,900 member stores. A decade ago they had 2,400 member stores. (source: NYT, 11/15/11)
Independent bookseller Janet Hutchison survived the onslaught of chain bookstores and Walmart, the advent of e-books and the brutal price advantage of online seller Amazon.
But she could not hold back the advancing years.
Bookstores in T&T are under pressure from e-book sales through Amazon, and government policy, a leading bookstore chain owner said on September 20 at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Mt Hope. “I think the future for bookstores in T&T is uncertain at the moment,” said Vivek Charran, managing director of Charran's bookstores.
What if somebody told you that in the future not only would bookstores sell indie work, but there would be entire stores devoted only to books by indie authors? Good idea? Fantasy? Unworkable? What if I told you they are already here?
Put simply, I love bookstores–as they were, are. and could be. I love what they alone provide us. But I also believe that the future of bookstores lies first in letting go the romanticism and nostalgia of the shop around the corner and then requires us look long and hard at what bookstores offer uniquely that online retailers don’t or can’t.
For the last few years, the priority in the book world was to digitize the content (all new releases and as well as backlist catalogs). The upcoming priority will be to “digitize” the bookstore experience with the aim to enhance book discovery and increase in-store sales. Bookstores must integrate the offline-online discoverability and purchase processes to improve the overall consumer experience, as well as to minimize losing sales opportunities (paper and ebooks) during store visits.
Unlike me, you may not be a rabid Mad Men fan–and I’ll forgive you, especially this season. However, this past Sunday evening’s episode provided the perfect “teachable moment” from which to launch this new Book Riot feature, “The Bookstore of the Future.”
Adman Don Draper and his not-so-merry band of copywriters have been trying to come up with a campaign for Heinz–and what they’ve pitched so far hasn’t amounted to…a hill of beans. Ba-dum-dum.
Once you get past the issues of mission-whiplash, though, the move makes sense. Amazon's online model has indeed transformed retail, and Amazon's championing of the e-book has transformed publishing, but its success has exposed gaps in the new supply model that are hard to fill, even by a company with the unmatched e-commerce sophistication of Amazon. Here are four ways physical stores could help Amazon's long-term strategy.
During the holiday book-buying blitz, my spirits were lifted by the data presented in “ E-Books, Shmee-Books: Readers Return to the Stores ” (Arts pages, Dec. 13). As both an avid “Amazonian” and a patron of independent bookstores, I do not believe that online stores and e-books pose a threat to independent bookstores or larger chains.
Bookstores enjoy a rare trait: To many, the store itself is seen as at least as important to the community as the product it sells. There are several reasons for this, which is why a Slate story published earlier this week called “Don't Support Your Local Bookseller” has sparked a small online uprising of indignant bookworms.
Compared with online retailers, bookstores present a frustrating consumer experience. A physical store—whether it’s your favorite indie or the humongous Barnes & Noble at the mall—offers a relatively paltry selection, no customer reviews, no reliable way to find what you’re looking for, and a dubious recommendations engine.
ABA CEO Oren Teicher has written an open letter (below and here in PDF format) to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos that highlights the glaring discrepancy between the company's recent statements in support of sales tax fairness and this latest exploitation of an inequitable strategic advantage.
Apparently concerned that it's not already doing enough to undermine local physical retailers across the country, Amazon.com announced it will pay customers up to $5 to go into a local store, scan an item, walk out, and buy the same item on Amazon. Please don't do this cheap, sad thing.
Already at $3.2 billion this year in worldwide revenues, e-book sales on portable devices are predicted to grow three-fold to $9.7 billion, according to the Mobile Publishing 2011-2016 report released today by UK-based research firm Juniper Research. At the same time, how people buy books is predicted to change.
The release of the new Amazon Kindle Fire last week has prompted a new round of interest and excitement about the potential for students to lighten the load in their backpacks, so heavily weighted down with heavy textbooks. The Kindle Fire, cheaper than the iPad and an Android tablet to boot, is the latest new hope for digital course materials.
Even as the owner of an eReader and as a frequent online book purchaser, I still fret about the future of brick-and-mortar bookstores. The Internet cannot replace the feel of a physical book, nor could it replace that wonderful aura of a quiet building filled with stacks of books. Furthermore, introverts who spend their time in libraries and bookstores are practically socialites compared to the people who are “isolated behind their gadgets, as Nathan Harden wrote last week.
So far, 2011 has been a banner year for Ann Patchett. Her latest book, “State of Wonder,” got the book world’s version of a red-carpet rollout (and stellar reviews, to boot); and this week, she and her business partner, Karen Hayes, have launched an ambitious, much-buzzed project — a new independent bookstore in the author’s hometown of Nashville, Tenn.
The problem with the rise of digital media is that there is also a lot of collateral damage, and in today's post I would like to focus on two victims and how they might survive: bookstores and libraries.
Two months ago our town had two bookstores– a very healthy Borders store and a Main Street Christian bookstore that had been around (and vigorous) for more than two decades. Today we have none. We now need to drive twenty-five miles to visit a bookstore. What happened?
In September, just days before Borders Group met its end, one of the chain's last retail holdouts, in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, Tenn., was being liquidated, with prices slashed by 90 percent. It was difficult in the stark surroundings not to think of a battle waged and lost, of the armies of Kindle owners and e-book peddlars off celebrating victory while all around lay the carnage—two copies of a Paul Reiser memoir, the suspect Greg Mortensen book Stones into Schools, a still-brimming manga section.
China's top independent bookstore chain is likely to reopen next year, but its closure in October prompted an outpouring of concern from readers and bookstore owners over the future of bookstores.
The Xiamen Cultural and Creative Industry Association set up a restructuring coordination group to seek investors and partners to revive the closed bookstore, a manager with the bookstore's legislation affairs department surnamed Chen said Tuesday.
"My life is an open bookstore,” Keith Peterson likes to say, with a chuckle. Peterson is the owner of Selected Works Used Books and Sheet Music at 410 S. Michigan Ave., which has been in business for more than a quarter-century. He works six days a week — “that's a lot,” he adds — but he has good company. You might say he has a co-owner.
At the New England Independent Booksellers Association annual fall conference earlier this month, booksellers and publishers grappled not just with the question of what bricks-and-mortar bookstores will look like in the future, but how long they will continue to exist.
Sure, the chains may be closing and digital books might be more portable, but John Avlon sings the praises of the independent bookstore and says we need them to survive. Plus, a list of the greatest ones in America.
If there’s one thing I’m keen to do this year at the Tools of Change conference, where I’ll be speaking alongside Jonathan Nowell, president of Nielsen Bookscan, is to dispel any notion of “another year, another Frankfurt.” Amazon’s Kindle was just being readied for launch in the UK at the time of last year’s Fair, and in twelve short months it has turned the industry on its head.
With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years. I'm a strong proponent of the ebook and, as I've said again and again, I love books but they're not going to make it past this decade, at least in most of the developed world.
Last month it was announced that Books-A-Million agreed to acquire lease interest in 14 of Borders stores for $934,209. Yet last week GalleyCat reported that Books-A-Million will close four outlets. Add to it 11 percent decrease in sales in the last quarter and you start wondering not only if Books-A-Million made the right decision buying Borders' stores, but also if they're actually able to stay in business or will follow Borders into bankruptcy.
After reading on David Streitfeld's article on the New York Times on Amazon's efforts to avoid collecting sales tax in California, I was thinking about the importance of this refusal on independent bookstores...I believe Amazon's refusal to collect sales tax is wrong and immoral, but is it really killing indie bookstores? I decided to check it out.
The one-time bully of quaint independent bookstores everywhere, Borders was itself undone by the newer, hipper kids on the block: e-book technology, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar superstores that can discount more deeply. Ironically, many who argued against the hegemony of Borders are now worried about its decline, decrying the state of the economy and wondering what will happen to its 11,000 employees.
"Eat, Sleep, Read Local" say the red signs on the front of the Next Chapter Bookshop in the Pavilions shopping center in Mequon.
They're a reminder that Next Chapter is a locally owned bookstore - one of a fast-diminishing number in an industry that's struggling to cope with the changing nature of the way people buy and even read books.
Borders, of course, isn't going to say that the book trade is fine and sound and that it simply blew it. Yet setting the “eReader revolution” alongside a “turbulent economy,” and branding it an “external force,” reveals a decade-long blind spot that goes some distance in explaining how Borders got to this point.
Indeed, outside a Borders bookstore in Arlington, Va., shoppers say they rarely buy books the old-fashioned way. "I'll go to Borders to find a book, and then I'll to go to Amazon to buy it, generally," customer Jennifer Geier says. With so many people going online to buy books, Borders lost out.
POLITICAL columnists frequently assert that Australians have stopped listening to their politicians. Well, this week they were all ears when Small Business Minister Nick Sherry predicted that bookshops would be dead in five years.
An Australian politician has predicted that bookshops will be wiped out within five years, prompting widespread outrage among the country's booksellers.
Speaking in Canberra, minister for small businesses Nick Sherry said: "I think in five years, other than a few speciality bookshops in capital cities, you will not see a bookstore. They will cease to exist because of what's happening with internet-based, web-based distribution."
It's no secret that brick and mortar bookstores have a bumpy road ahead of them. The future is not certain. Just recently, bookstore chain Borders filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They closed 200 stores and put the business up for sale; but in this economy, it doesn't look like anyone's buying.
Bookstore sales are down. Former giants in the industry, Barnes and Noble and Borders are facing tough economic decisions. Borders is in bankruptcy and it has already closed over 200 stores as a part of its bankruptcy plan. Barnes and Noble has avoided bankruptcy, but it has slashed jobs and is closing stores. The first half of 2011 has been the worst for bookstores since the Great Depression.
1. Sell personalized children's books. Hill said children's books sold well at her store, and customizable children's books were very popular as gifts. 2. Create special book bundles. Powell's created special “Indiespensable” bundles for readers, assembling special packages of books with limited edition items.
This is not the best of times for Barnes & Noble. B&N shares have lost about 50% of their value in the last couple of weeks and it doesn't look like B&N can find a buyer, regardless of the low price. Not surprisingly, there is a growing concern that B&N may eventually follow Borders and file for bankruptcy.
Jacqui Patterson has always been a book lover. And for the last twelve months she's been surrounded by them as the owner of a second-hand bookshop in North Albury.
As Angus & Robertson and Borders stores close their doors and blame internet sales and e-books for their demise, Jacqui Patterson said the internet has actually helped her second-hand book business.
With the book business in a constant state of flux, it's hard for bookstore owners to know just what effect the pending closing of Borders stores will have on them. John Stowe, owner of Prairie Bookshop in Mount Horeb, has seen one clear effect. "I've had two of their employees come in to ask about jobs," said Stowe, who has owned his store since 1991.
January is a bad month for booksellers — the holiday rush is over, nobody feels like shopping — but this past January at Subterranean Books was worse than usual. When Kelly von Plonski, the store's owner, tallied sales figures at the end of the month, she found that Subterranean had done 25 percent less business than it had the previous January — and that one hadn't been exactly stellar either.
For now, Barnes & Noble seems to be far from its final chapter. The company still has about $900 million more in assets than debt. Borders, as of its last fiscal statements, actually owed about $40 million more to creditors than the total value of its assets. Even more important, Barnes & Noble's sales are growing. Online sales jumped 52% in its most recent quarter.
Borders' recent bankruptcy filing is just the latest in a string of signs the Internet, e-books, iPad and other technology are pulling shoppers away from brick and mortar stores, and these signs have retail observers wondering if the demise of physical stores is just getting started.
Powell's Books, a nearly 40-year-old book retailer with six stores in the Portland area described as "the most vaunted brand in the independent bookstore world", is in trouble - About two weeks ago Powell's laid off 31 employees due to a drop in 2010 sales. Powell's expects this trend will continue, so we would like to offer five ideas on how this great book retailer can survive and avoid bankruptcy.
"The Powell's model that has been so successful is really being challenged by new competitors, new technology and new shopping habits," said Tom Gillpatrick, a retail marketing professor at Portland State University. "They need to go back and rethink that business model," he said, "otherwise it'll just be ratcheting down and down -- unless there's some huge wave of nostalgia."
When I published my first novel in 1996, the one place I was able to find it consistently was at the big bookstore chains. Barnes and Noble put the book in a program meant to boost promising new writers, and featured it prominently on shelves in its stores. For all the books I published after that, fiction and nonfiction, when I walked into chain stores such as Borders, I usually didn't have that much trouble finding copies of what I had written, at least within the first few weeks of publication.
What are the lessons of the Borders bankruptcy? Why couldn't management – and a little marketing savvy ripped out of the fashion retail playbook – turn things around? Lesson No. 1: All Goliaths eventually become Davids. Lesson No. 2: The marketplace harshly and swiftly punishes delays in adapting to the new realities of digital. Lesson No. 3: Marketing is Never Enough to Revive a Business in Decline.
Mike Shatzkin, a publishing consultant, sees physical bookstores going the way of record shops and video rental stores. He predicts that shelf space devoted to print books in physical stores will decline by 50% during the next five years and 90% during the next decade. Albert Greco, a Fordham University marketing professor who studies book retailing, says chain and independent stores "have never been under more pressure, and it's not all digital."
At next week's Tools of Change for Publishing conference, I am moderating a panel on the future of bookstores (Tuesday, 2/15, 1:40 pm, be there!). I proposed this topic because, despite today's challenges, booksellers are critical to the publishing food chain. The loss of booksellers - traditional and innovative - is a huge blow to book discovery.
Analysts see a struggle for survival by traditional booksellers thanks to a growing shift to electronic books and Internet sales.
Borders Group said in late January it would delay payments to vendors, landlords and others as it seeks to restructure its debt, but many analysts see bankruptcy or a sale looming for the second-largest U.S. bookseller.
Barnes & Noble said last year that it was in discussions of a sale or other strategic options.
"Nearly 81% of eReader Owners Would ‘Likely' Buy eBooks Online from Indie Bookstores" - this was the headline of an article I read last week on GalleyCat, quoting a Digital Book World and Verso survey. Really? Does it sounds realistic? I'm afraid not.
Five thoughts following Julie Bosman's interesting article on today's New York Times on the search of Independent bookstores for the right ways to secure their future in times when even a giant bookseller like Borders finds it difficult.
Get on Twitter. Add a wine bar. Do as one bookstore owner did and rent out space for birthday parties.
Or, as a veteran store owner from Kansas tartly suggested, just sell books.
More than 500 independent booksellers debated their next step last week at the Winter Institute, the annual jamboree that is also attended by publishers who go to mingle with their customers and promote their most promising coming titles. .
How Borders arrived at this once-unthinkable moment is, like many stories of troubled companies, a tale of strategic errors, missed opportunities and revolving-door management (the chain is now in the hands of a former tobacco executive). But the company's collapse, though perhaps hastened by missteps, seems to many industry insiders to have been inevitable, brought on by cultural changes too swift and sweeping to fend off, even for a huge player in the nation's cultural life.
How can Barnes & Noble avoid bankruptcy? 5 Lessons from the unfortunate case of Borders - Eco-Libris blog, January 3, 2011 It's look like Borders' bankruptcy is becoming inevitable and I wonder what the executives at Barnes & Noble think about it. I am quite sure they don't celebrate, but I wonder if they see this as a warning sign. I believe that even if B&N looks a little bit better shape than Borders, they're also in a very bad position and are next in line for bankruptcy. Nevertheless, unlike Borders they have a chance to avoid it, but that will only happen if B&N will learn the right lessons from the case of Borders.
As much as I would like to believe that Greenlight Books represent the majority of independent bookstores, I feel that they are an exception. A beautiful and loved one, but still an exception. As long as there won't be a more radical change in the business model of independent bookstores and a greater added value to offer to consumers, they will stay in the same troubled water with B&N, Borders and other book retailers.
There was a time, not so long ago, when chain bookstores had a pretty bad rep. But in the era of online buying and the e-book, the chains are in trouble - and new technologies are providing independent bookstores with a lifeline.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) reported that more than 200 independent booksellers could sign up. It looks like booksellers are happy about this new option that for many of them wasn't available until now. It's a great addition to independent bookstores, but we believe independent bookstores shouldn't cont too much on Google Editions. Here's why:
We have also noted before that independent and specialty bookstores are a labour of love, a dying breed, a money pit, a host of clichés, under pressure from big box retailers, Amazon and now the e-reader. Yet we have also noted how important the small independent retailer is to a viable main street and a walkable community.
In general, I think the fate of indie book stores mirrors that of their brick-and-mortar brethren: the main culprit behind the decline of market share of all stores that sell printed books--chain and indie alike--is technology
As for the book industry: About 125,000 people still work in book stores and news dealers, according to Labor. How many of them will still have jobs in two years? Another 75,000 work in book publishing. When writers self-publish in electronic format, how many publishers will still be left?
The August weekly series on the future of the publishing industry starts today. With the news this week that Barnes & Noble is putting itself up for sale, Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Lunch, discusses the fate of bookstores large and small. Where do you really like to buy books and why? Online, a big box store, an indie bookshop? Be honest...
Today, if the stores' share is 80% of print and we assume print is 90% of total book sales (using Centrello's 10% number as a baseline in an attempt to be more conservative for this particular calculation), then we're talking about a brick-and-mortar decline from 72% of the market today to 25% in 5 years!
I am a huge fan of the book store, the library and all things book-related. The library has narrowly edged out the bookstore as my favourite air-conditioned hang-out (I do not have air conditioning) because of the free wifi. But is that enough? Can the bookstores and libraries of this world stay viable and relevant in this age of e-downloads?
What is the best business model that will generate a brighter future for independent bookstores? How about a new approach that will provide customers with both personal benefits and the feeling that they're contributing to the prosperity of their own community.
The survey, conducted and analyzed between ABA's fifth Winter Institute and BEA 2010, is the most up-to-date consumer book-buying information available and includes consumer demographics and book-buying preferences.
On this article we ask if book chains' brick and mortar bookstores can succeed in the digital age of eBooks and growing online purchases? And how will their new business model look like? We think the current ideas for reinventing the business model of book chains are most likely insufficient and won't work. We argue that taking the "green" path is B&N and Borders best shot for success.
The other night I went to a panel discussion billed as the Future of the Bookstore and I have been trying to collect my thoughts about it ever since but not sure I have yet. Predicting the future is a tough business and maybe not a fruitful one unless you're Ray Kurzweil or an investment banker.
Now, I know the title may sound a little Jetsony or Matrixy, but hear me out on this: what will the bookstore of the future look like in this quickly changing book model? Will physical books be there at all, or will we be browsing book covers like we browse empty DVD containers? Will there be a bar type area where you bring your eReader and purchase digital books to upload them on the spot?
If students embrace textbooks on the iPad, college bookstores may lose their shirts.
It may be the season for graduation parties and commencement speeches, but colleges and universities are already prepping for next year, even in the bookstore. Next fall, during opening weekend, students will once again file into university bookstores to purchase course materials, school supplies, and a college sweatshirt or two.
I love reading books and I love shopping for them. Okay, let me rephrase that. I love browsing through a bookstore, but I rarely buy a paper book these days, always preferring the digital version if one is available. This duality of feelings and the certainty of the inevitable demise of the paper book in the future makes me a bit sad each time I go to a good bookstore.
So, we've already established that e-books are taking over the world (yes, I use the term “established” somewhat loosely). What does this mean for bookstores? Well, first of all, the smart bookstores are hedging their bets.
THESE are not easy times for booksellers. Borders, a big American one, ditched its boss in January and has closed stores, but is still at risk of collapse, some analysts say. The British chain of the same name, which it once owned, failed last year. Barnes & Noble, the world's biggest bookseller, appointed a new boss last month to help it confront the triple threat of the recession, increased competition and e-books.
I took a Bookselling class at PSU where we learned a lot about the history and traditions of selling books, but these methods aren't cutting it any more. Patrons don't just walk into bookstores and buy the books that catch their eye – they often find books they want and then go home and order them online from cheaper sellers.
Many booksellers also sense additional threats looming from new hand-held technology, such as the Nook from Barnes & Noble; Amazon's Kindle; Sony's Reader and Apple's iPad, set to debut April 3. The devices could affect the next generation of customers, said Steve Tommerup, owner of Literary Leftovers in Battle Ground.
What Will Bookstores Look Like in 10 Years? - by Jason Boog, mediabistro: GalleyCat, March 25, 2010 What will the bookstore look like in 10 years? In 1999, one writer came up with a vision that is close to our print-on-demand fantasies. In Robert J. Sawyer 's science fiction novel, FlashForward , everyone on earth received a brief glimpse of the future--including a peek into the future of bookstores. The novel has been adapted into an ABC television show that airs tonight.
Bookstore giant comes under siege -
By Andrea Chang, The Salt Lake Tribune, March 20, 2010 The story line for bookstore giant Barnes & Noble Inc. is growing ever more dramatic, with falling store sales, increasingly stiff competition and a fierce battle over the company's shares led by a billionaire Los Angeles investor.
Are eBook Readers the death of bookstores? - By Tim Martin, News Blaze, March 19, 2010 I used to love going to my local Borders and browsing books. I do not have a Barnes and Nobles in my town, so when I would travel and find one, I would spend a few hours in 1. But now that I have the Kindle App on my iPhone and my computer at home and at work, I rarely visit a bookstore.
The Boulder way: A bookstore's experiment with microdistribution - by Megan Garber, Neiman Journalism Lab, March 16, 2010 The “Recommended” section at the Boulder Book Store, an independent bookseller in Colorado, features a mix of titles and genres. And also: a mix of distribution models. Among the traditionally published works on display stand a smattering of print-on-demand titles — many of them being sold on consignment by authors from the Boulder area. They've paid for the privilege. The store charges its consignment authors according to a tiered fee structure.
The Death of Books and Bookstores -by Michael Dyer, Design Assembly, March 16, 2010 In the summer of 2007, after over a half century in existence, Franz Bader bookstore in Washington DC closed. I had spent many hours in this specialty shop which focused on art, architecture, and design books; first as a student in the mid 1990s, later as a practicing local designer and, finally, as a visitor after moving to New York.
The bookstore of the future? - by Robert Paterson, Robert Paterson's Weblog, March 14, 2010 David points us to the Montague Bookmill. This is the bookstore of the future, because it's not a business trying to maximize growth and ROI. No, it's a place, an attitude, an approach to an afternoon. They don't sell every book, they don't even pretend to.
The Death of Book Stores? - by Shawn Anthony, Lo-Fi Tribe, March 14, 2010 Will ereading devices like the Kindle and Nook kill bookstores as we presently know them? It's an interesting question, is it not? It's completely possible too. I am a serious aficionado of books, but my last two major relocation projects have softened my once staunch stance against the idea of electronic books.
A future for independent bookstores – A. Bitterman speaks - by Bill Harley, Song, Story and Culture, March 8, 2010Between 1993 and 2003, the number of independent book retailers diminished by more than half, and their consumer market share dwindled from 30+% to less than 10%. The downward trend continues, albeit more slowly, accompanied by the sound of fingernails dragging across loose rock. But there is hope on the horizon for the independent bookseller, and it comes in a strange and perhaps unexpected form – the e-book.
The future of bookstores is the... - by John Dupuis, Confessions of a Science Librarian, November 30, 2009...present of public and academic libraries? What got me thinking along these lines most recently was the recent Clay Shirky blog post, Local Bookstores, Social Hubs, and Mutualization. It's a pretty good post that puts a particular kind of physical retail into the context of current online retail and media shift realities.
Reading Local Essay: Indie Bookstores of the Future - by Gabe Barber, Reading Local: Portland, July 9, 2009The indie bookstore of the future will do a lot more than sell books. An easy way to describe them (for Portlanders anyhow) is to use current locations as reference points. So think of them as a mix of the small press/local focus of Reading Frenzy, the community living room feel of any of Portland's fine coffee houses, the services offered by the IPRC, and the events held at Disjecta.