Monday, December 3, 2007

The Three Cs

I'm not all that old, nor all that worldly, I admit, but I can honestly say that in my travel experience, I've found Northern California to be the place to be when it comes to culture, class and community. That's right, the Three Cs can all be found in such cities such as Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

Hut Landon, director of the NCIBA, writes a lovely commentary in this week's Publishers Weekly Soapbox (In It Together, December 3, 2007: page 76). He boasts about the wonderful independent bookstore community in Northern California which includes Bookshop Santa Cruz, Green Apple Books, Book Passage, City Lights, Cover to Cover, Stacey's, A Great Good Place for Books, Cody's, Hicklebee's, and Kepler's (to name a few).

Landon points out that in this part of the state, "there are more than 150 independent bookstores within a 100-mile radius." Wow, do I wish I lived in the center of that circle. Another interesting fact, also pointed out in this week's Publishers Weekly by Oscar Villalon (The Book Reigns in Northern California, December 3, 2007: page 27) is that Northern Californians "spend more money per capita on books out here than anywhere in the U.S."

I have not visited all of the bookstores that I mentioned above, but from those that I have seen the interiors of first-hand I can say this: no two are exactly alike. Isn't that what being independent is all about?

These business owners and outside-the-box booksellers know what it takes to survive, and thrive, to keep the new generation of online, superstore-shoppers coming back again and again.

And, in case you're wondering what wonderful books all of these stores will be carrying this holiday season, their 2007 Holiday Catalog is available on line.

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