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Ann Patchett to open bookstore

photo via authors website

photo via author's website

Disappointed by the lack of bookstores in her hometown of Nashville, writer Ann Patchett is taking matters into her own hands—and opening one. Reports the Christian Science Monitor:

As Patchett’s been recounting in interviews on her book tour, a frame shop where she has been a customer since high school asked her if they should stock [her latest novel] “State of Wonder.” They made the offer because, sadly, Nashville’s bookstores – from big-box chains to the 30-year-old Davis-Kidd bookstore – have been shutting down.

“It’s very weird to have a book coming out without a bookstore,” Patchett told The Tennessean. “When Davis-Kidd closed, I thought, ‘I don’t want to live in a city without a bookstore.’ ” So according to Bookpage, Patchett says she’s teaming up with a Random House sales rep named Karen Hayes who had already been planning to launch an indie bookstore in Nashville. No word on how involved Patchett will be in day-to-day operations, but hearing her voice light up when she talks about the venture leaves no doubt that it’s a personal passion.

What do you think? Can authors—who presumably know books better than anyone else—help revive the indie bookstore?

Join the Discussion

  • Lee Thomas

    I think this is a great idea – can just picture the Stephen King bookstore in Bangor. Perhaps the draw of author-run bookstores will be an edited selection of books that reflect (at least partially) the aesthetic of the personality behind the store? I think the internet has assured the demise of the cavernous we-have-everything type of store, outside of real destinations like Powell’s or The Strand, but I can see a market for the small boutique-bookstore, where you go not to find something specific, but to speak with a knowledgeable staff and discover something new and exciting to read. Bespoke books. I know small stores across the land already do this, and I hope that communities coalesce around those centers once again (since I know they’ve had a rough go of things the past few decades). I feel like today’s reading public is more omnivorous than ever, shopping online from big-box places, picking up a new story collection from the local store, browsing used bookstores, signing up for the bestseller waiting list at the library.

  • J.T. Bushnell

    I always love to hear about a new bookstore opening, and I commend Patchett for doing this. But running a business takes a lot of work, and it seems that the best work that authors can do is to write.

    Then again, maybe Patchett is one of these people who doesn’t need sleep.

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