Category Archives: Bookstores

Two Documentary Films for Bookish Folks

Here are two documentary films that I’m excited about and I am guessing, if you’re reading this blog, you’ll probably be interested too.

The first film is called The Bookmakers and runs about an hour. It features all kinds of folks that are working to keep books viable in this day and age. There are interviews with type setters and old world book artists as well as digital librarians and font folks. The trailer hooks me early! I hear that The Bookmakers documentary has been delayed due to all of the “stay home” stuff going on these days. I’m excited for this one to be out – eventually. Here’s the trailer:

A co-worker mentioned The Booksellers documentary to me the other day and I just love the visuals in the trailer. It was released back on April 17th via special streaming screenings online. Which is all very cool and handy these days. You can scroll through the film’s twitter feed and find a place to watch it. It looks like it’s running about $10 to stream it. This film has to be good. There are some pretty big names from both the bookstore and book trade worlds in The Booksellers. I’m hoping to find some time this weekend to watch.

It doesn’t hurt to mix in a little screen time with reading, does it? I hope you all are tucked away, feeling well and have plenty of books surrounding you. And I hope you get a chance to see these two films too!

Thank You Books – Birmingham, AL

Thank You Books is one of Birmingham’s newest bookstores and an all around indie hot spot. This shop is a lot of fun and has so much energy for having just popped up in December 2019. I think this just shows how much care and consideration the owners are putting into their bookstore and the books they select. They’re selling new books and the care and consideration carries over into the way they deal with the shop’s visitors as well (both online and offline).

The seem to be most active on Instagram and I’ve enjoyed lurking during some of their “live” events online. Just good book people sharing the books they enjoy and doing what they can to foster a healthy book culture here in Birmingham.

I sure do miss visiting bookstores… but these photos will have to do, until the self-isolation period is over. Once it is, be sure to give them a visit, here’s some details (and I really do recommend following them on the social channels):

Thank You Books
5502 Crestwood Blvd, Unit B
Birmingham, AL 35212
205-202-3021
https://www.thankyoubookshop.com/
twitter: https://twitter.com/thankyou_bham
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thankyou_bham/

And here are the photos taken back, in 2019, soon after the opened. It seems like years ago. Notice how the stars on the front sign are carried on throughout the store across the floor? So fun!

Best Bookstore in the South 2020

E. Shaver, Bookseller has been named the South’s Best Bookstore for 2020 by Southern Living magazine. It’s always good when an indie bookshop gets some recognition outside of its hometown.

E. Shaver, Bookseller is located in Savannah, GA and sits on one of the most idyllic and walkable squares I’ve ever visited. Savannah has a few great bookstores and E. Shaver, Bookseller is definitely on the “must visit” list.

When things aren’t so crazy in the world you can visit the bookstore during their normal hours:

E. Shaver, Bookseller
Monday-Tuesday 9:30am-5:30pm
Wednesday-Saturday 9:30am-7:00pm
Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm
Phone (912) 234-7257

The shop is fun to walk around as it has lots of little very well lit rooms and a solid collection of local and regional books.

I have to admit I felt a little bummed while pulling up these photos from my last visit and getting them ready to post. It dawned on me–it’s been weeks since I’ve browsed in a bookstore. I haven’t been to my usual haunts in what seems like forever. So I think I am going to start posting photos from all my past shop visits. When I travel (work or family) we always make a point to visit local bookshops and I’m always taking photos. So there’s plenty to work with and I’m a little excited to start going back through the past couple of years of photos. None of the photos were taken with “these will go online one day” and for all I know some of the shops may have closed up.

But my hope is that by browsing virtual shelves and bookstores the senses will calm and help me look ahead to when we all can get back out there and visit our local bookstores. So more to come and I’m happy to be kicking things off with the E. Shaver, Bookseller photos.

I hope each of you have a good book nearby, are tucked in, safe and as well as can be.

Price Matching at Barnes and Noble

Yesterday, I had a great Barnes and Noble experience, in Birmingham, as they are now letting customers get the BN.com price, in the store, and I want to share.

I needed a copy of Mark Larabee’s Pacific Crest Trail book (which is a beautiful book, by the way). I called my indie shop down the street and they didn’t have a copy.

I went to BN.com and saw that the book was $36 (which matched other online retailers) compared to the $50 in-store price. That’s a great discount. I was also able to see that a local Barnes and Noble store had it in stock.

Then I remembered a little birdie telling me that B&N is running a price matching program for B&N Members. I am not sure why they aren’t trumpeting this.

I walked in a local Barnes and Noble and asked the manager about it. She confirmed that it is real and then shared some of her thoughts about it. I would say she was neither plussed nor upset about the practice, just that…

“…customers have been confused by the different prices in store and online and have been asking for this for a long, long time”.

I thought that a pretty fair assessment.

All I had to do was go up, give them my B&N Membership number and the cashier showed me the special “compare to current BN.com price” button, on the register. It took all of 2 seconds and I checked out with the lower online price + tax. The cashier said that if you always ask for the comparison (again after your member # has been entered) the system will give you the lowest price possible. So if your member discount drops the in-store price lower than the online price, you’ll still come out ahead.

This is exactly the kind of customer-focused thinking Barnes and Noble needs to be doing.

  1. I was able to research prices and availability online
  2. I could have even reserved a copy online
  3. I was able to go to a local store, pay local taxes, and get the lowest price Barnes and Noble was offering, online or off.
  4. I had my book immediately (which even beats free 2 day delivery)

Hopefully, more customers will use this price-matching program. It leverages the best pieces B&N has access to, and will keep them  relevant and front-of-mind for local readers. These kinds of services can help them win in a way that all their past experiments, with in-store restaurants and bars, just can’t do.