Donna Paz is in a unique position. Not only is she the owner of Story & Song, which combines a bookstore, bistro, catering service for book clubs, and gallery space. But for nearly 30 years she has also helped advise new bookstore owners through the Retail Training Center for Booksellers. Who better to ask about the current climate of the bookselling trade, and to offer perspective on what indie bookstores offer that online vendors can’t, why book groups are essential to the community of a store,
Celebrating 15 years in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Books on the Loose offers a variety of new books, non-book items, story hours, and a cafe. Owner Rosemary Adomokai talks to Reading Group Choices about the challenges of starting and continuing to run a bookstore. She also shares what her brick-and-mortar store offers that online retailers cannot, what her customers are reading, and recommendations for Nigerian authors!
Reading Group Choices: Based on where you are now, what advice would you go back and give yourself when you were first opening the store?
Housed in a building that dates back to 1884, the Garden District Book Shop offers a wide selection of new and used books. They also feature local and regional literature, including signed copies and first editions. What better place to discuss books with other readers?
The store has hosted a book group since 2001, and Reading Group Choices caught up with its current leader, Rayna Nielsen, who works as a bookseller and Social Media Coordinator as well. We asked Rayna how the group decides what to read,
Meet Lucie Camara, whose feminist book group is the first step to building a community of readers and bringing a new bookstore to Paris.
In a yoga studio on Valentine’s Day, a group of readers came together for the third meeting of COVEN, a feminist book group and larger initiative to bring the only English-language feminist bookstore to Paris. Founder Lucie Camara spoke to Reading Group Choices about her inspiration for the project, her vision for the group, and how to create a safe space for discussion.
Reading Group Choices: How have the first three meetings of the feminist book group differed (if at all) in terms of attendees,
To say that Women & Children First is just an independent bookstore is only the beginning of the story. Opened in Chicago in 1979, the store will celebrate 40 years next year and has maintained its place as one of the largest and well-known feminist bookstores in the country.
More than its wide selection of children’s books, literary journals and zines, and LGBTQ fiction and nonfiction, it serves as an inclusive space and haven for the community.
(And they were awarded an honorary street name!)
You may have already heard of Nashville, Tennessee as a vibrant center for music, arts, and entertainment, but did you know that it is also home to an active book club and bookstore scene? Look no further than Parnassus Books as proof of a richly-populated literary community in Nashville.
Parnassus Books—so named for Mount Parnassus in Greek mythology, which was a center for the arts—has made its home in Nashville since November 2011. Novelist Ann Patchett with publishing representatives Mary Grey James and Karen Hayes began the store after the closing of Nashville’s two large bookstores,