Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rambly thoughts on all this Amazon brick and mortar expansion ballyhoo

 This piece is from our friends at Mosaic Books in Kelowna BC Canada.

Diana's (rambly) thoughts on all this Amazon brick and mortar expansion ballyhoo

Surely you've all heard the scary ooga booga news that Amazon is planning on opening HUNDREDS OF STORES (!!!)  after opening their first physical store in Seattle last fall. First off, I'm going to believe the more modest numbers that Shelf Awareness has reported - the reality is that Amazon plans to open a dozen or so stores, not hundreds. But numbers aside, this news is probably sending shivers down the spines of hardworking indie booksellers. Well, don't let it.

Amazon may be regarded as a cutting edge online retailer - and no one is denying that they are - but here is proof that they are slow to realize the one thing we have known all along - consumers like having a physical space to browse and interact with people and the product. Let me just say that again, but a bit louder: PEOPLE LIKE TALKING TO PEOPLE AND TOUCHING ALL THE THINGS THEY WANNA BUY. Sure, people also like shopping for drones at 3am in their underwear, but there is no denying the growth in the "shop localism" movement.

It was only a few years ago that we were all shaking in our boots about THE EBOOK and death of the printed page was near. And we all know what came of that - Not much. People are still buying books, and in fact, sales at indie stores across North America are on the rise, in a big way. Book people are tough and resourceful and most importantly, they are people. We are more than just a fancy online tool that says "if you liked this you may also like this!" Period.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What book to choose for my Lenten discipline?

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, February 10th this year.

First, there are several ways of “discipline” for the penitential Lenten Season of 40 days that leads us to the celebration of Easter and Christ’s overcoming death in the Resurrection. As a book person my first consideration is to choose a book for the season. Without much free time the book needs to have short passages, one for each day of Lent.

Some Lenten books are so short that just an hour or two later I have trouble remembering what the day’s emphasis is supposed to be. Some books are deep enough that it takes a few pages for each day, and more concentration than I have for my little effort in my reading discipline. Our local diocesan bishop, The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel is reading Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Then the good bishop reflects on his reading each day on his blog that I could follow as well, but it requires more time during this Lent than I have. Sorry Bishop Rickel.

A couple of books that I like and have considered include:

Then there are the other disciplines that I want to do that are not part of a reading routine. I have a small list of those too.

I hope that you can do more for your Lenten discipline than I am doing.