Category Archives: Bookstores

Little Professor Book Center – Photo Tour

The Little Professor Book Center has been a mainstay in Homewood, AL since the early 1970’s and has recently re-opened in its third location. It’s neat that all three locations have been on the same street.

They are located at:
2844 18th St. S., Homewood, AL   35209
Phone:   (205)870-7461

Their hours are:
Monday-Friday 9:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm

The new shop is a fun stop. The big front windows let in so much light, the covers near the windows really shine. No matter where you stand in the book store you can see to the other side and use all of the section signs posted on the pillars for navigation. The Little Professor is located smack dab in the middle of downtown Homewood now and their foot traffic must be 200x what it was.

Though there are no more used books and there is no more Crape Myrtle Cafe (home to one of the best pimento cheese sandwiches in the Birmingham-area) it’s worth checking out for the fully stocked shelves and cozy seating area.

And of course, the same smiling faces are there ready to chat all about books!

Below are a few photos I took of the new bookstore. You can also catch up with the Little Professor crew on Twitter, Facebook or over on their site.

 

Birmingham Library Bookstore

The Friends Bookstore at the Central Library re-opened in a new location in April 2016. The library bookstore is now on the first floor now just to the left of the checkout desk, as you come in the main entrance. The big bright windows are fantastic to browse by (though I hope the spines don’t fade!).

library bookstore

 

I stopped by to check it out and found some great finds. You probably will too. Most everything in there runs between $.50-$3 range depending on if it’s a mass or trade paperback or hardback.

The library bookstore constantly runs sales and updates the community about recent donations. So I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter list.

Anyway, here are a few photos I snapped back in April when they first opened.

library bookstore

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If you want to see what the shop looked like on the second floor, here is the 2011 photo tour of it.

Capitol Book & News is CLOSING

If you’re near Montgomery, AL, in the next couple of days, it would be worth your while to swing by Capitol Book & News as they are closing this month. For good.

This little indie bookstore is the last in Montgomery. It’s been in business for 65 years. I didn’t realize it has not always been in its current location in Old Cloverdale. But according to the Montgomery Advertiser is used to be owned by someone else and located downtown. Downtown shops are fun, but man Old Cloverdale is one of the more idyllic spots for an indie shop.

Capitol Book reminds me of some of the great little book shops over in Savannah, GA that are so fun to walk around and visit.

So take a peek at the Advertiser article. I echo the owners’ hopes that someone else will step in and open an indie bookshop in Montgomery. The city would be better for it.

Barnes & Noble Stocking Fewer Books

Barnes & Noble released some details recently showing that revenues are down almost 5% and so on. The overall decline in sales and profits has been the lede of this news so far.

But one point that jumps out at me is worth mentioning (and lamenting). And that is the fact that Barnes & Noble bookstores are carrying fewer and fewer books every year.

Publishing industry thinker-doer-sage Thad McIlory surfaced the following nugget over on his site:

“In its latest report the company states that “each Barnes & Noble store features an authoritative selection of books, ranging from 22,000 to 164,000 titles.” The number ranged from “60,000 to 200,000 titles” in 2004. The long tail at Barnes & Noble is now 18% shorter.”

I feel frustrated every time I walk into a Barnes & Noble these days and have to navigate around the monolithic Nook base up front and then travel around all of the board games, toy figures and bobble-head dolls to get to… the fiction section. It’s that way in both the B&N shops here in town.

Lots of people go to stores with a specific title in mind to buy, but how many bump into books while there? How many folks browse and stumble into a good book and buy it? This happens. I know this happens. It happens to me. But when you keep fewer and fewer books on the shelves it is going to happen less and less.

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I can only assume that on some spreadsheet somewhere it shows that the margin on toy figures is better than books. Which I’m sure it is. So the owner of that spreadsheet decrees that in the interest of chasing profits (which they do indeed need to do as B&N is hurting) they swap out books for non-book merchandise. Which probably gooses the bottom line a little.

But over time bookish folks don’t get all that excited about visiting a B&N anymore. Another two seasons like the past two and it’s going to look like the toy and magazine/book racks at Target or Wal-Mart. So folks start directing book buying elsewhere and it starts to feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know the book industry is crazy right now and margins on books have always been razor-thin, but the more Barnes & Noble goes down this path it really feels like it’s doing more damage than good.

Am I off in my thinking? Anyone else see it differently?