In the wake of Borders’ collapse and the rise of the e-book, many are speculating about the relevance of bookstores. Some say they have little value, pointing to the time it takes to get to an actual store, plus wrangling for parking. They clearly prefer the ease of downloading to a device. Others argue for the bookstore as community center and a place where knowledgeable staff are an irreplaceable part of the reading experience. At independent bookstores, you will often find a staff of well-read and engaging people, eager to share and recommend, curators of the bookbuying experience.
Independent publishers acknowledge the power of the indie bookstore staff and their role in the success of a title, and this morning’s Shelf Awareness announces a kind of alliance in the form of the Indie Booksellers Choice Awards. From the website:
“Independent booksellers and independent publishers live in financial and philosophical accord.
This award serves to highlight our healthy alliance.”
The award site also features a long and impressive list of small and independent presses.