Monday, August 01, 2011

Rebel Bookseller

I met Andrew Laties several years ago at a meeting of the Independent Publishers of New England. We found that we had a common interest in book arts (unusual among publishers who are book lovers but not necessarily knowledgeable about artists' books) and had a great conversation. I intended to buy a copy of his Rebel Bookseller but didn't do it immediately and then it faded from my mind. Last week's Boston Sunday Globe had an interview with him in connection with a new edition of the book. This time I went straight to my local independent bookstore—the appropriate place to buy a book with the subtitle Why Indie Bookstores Represent Everything You Want to Fight for from Free Speech to Buying Local to Building Communities—and ordered a copy.

I have read Rebel Bookseller twice in three days. Andrew Laties has had a long career in bookselling, starting out working for B. Dalton in Chicago and going on to cofound the Children's Bookstore, the Children's Bookfair Company, The Children's Museum Store, PovertyFighters, the Eric Carle Museum Bookshop, and Vox Pop.

In Rebel Bookseller, his personal story is interspersed with Rants—ten of them—where he shares his opinions and observations of the bookselling and publishing worlds and his Rough Rules of Rebel Bookselling. He is an optimist and believes that now is a great time to open an independent bookstore. His rallying cry is loud and clear but in telling his story, we see that the road is not easy. It's long hours, hard work, and most importantly—constant adaptation and change.

If you are interested in the world of bookstores and publishing, the tactics and effect of the chains and amazon on independent bookstores, this is the book for you. If you are thinking of opening a bookstore, this is a must-read. Andrew Laties believes in the things he lists in his subtitle—free speech, buying local, and building communities. He is passionate and inspirational and realistic.

May I suggest you do what I do—check out the Rebel Bookseller on amazon if you want more information—and then go order it from your local independent bookstore.

The top image is my bookmark for Rebel Bookseller. Take a look at my youtube tutorial to learn how to make your own Bookmark Book.

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