Eckstein-bookstores-580-05Bob Eckstein’s New Yorker cartoons of New York bookstores herewith. Part 1 here. Part 2 followed in October.

The word “reordered” is I hope ambiguous in the Three Lives (great store) cartoon. I think they mean rearranged, rather than taken away and reordered from the publisher! This would make making a sale a very risky undertaking.

I have been waiting to see if there’s a part 3: I suspect not.

In general one could say that our attitudes have changed by 180º since last year. We are now rather cocky about the fate of the bricks-and-mortar bookstore. Here’s a piece from The Week (link via Jose Afonso Furtado) explaining why bookstores are actually thriving. Another post, forwarded by Peter Ginna, this one from Untapped Cities, reports on the city’s top twenty independent bookstores. Three of these stores were represented at The Book Industry Guild May 2015 meeting on the subject of independent, niche bookstores. All, plus St Mark’s Comics, seemed to be in robust health.

I suspect that our attitudes towards bookstores suffer from the same schizophrenia that characterizes our attitude to publishing. Just as the commentariat know that publishing is all about the Big Five, so is book selling all about the big chains. Borders is gone, and Barnes and Noble keep closing stores — so we must be in crisis. Yes?