We spent last weekend over in the Peach State, getting lost in Atlanta. Between bouts of “where the !@#$%^&! are we” I managed to squeeze in a few bookstore visits. My goal was to visit only stores I’d never been to… and I hit the jackpot.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly, this shop closed in April 2009. This post is being left up as an archive.
Jonathon Benton Bookseller
2705 Culver Rd
Birmingham, AL 35223
This small independent shopis located in Mountain Brook, just off Highway 280. Their store web presence seems to always be in flux but they do seem to do a better job of keeping their MySpace presence more up-to-date. They have a full coffee bar and the bookstore staff always seems very knowledgeable and helpful. It’s popular with a handful of book clubs and local folks.
It’s a nice small bookstore to peruse. They do a good job of keeping the most recent titles in stock, but nothing too far back.You’ll have to call about the hours, as they don’t keep them posted.
There’s a new book “lending” service in town… PaperSpine.com
It’s just like Netflix, except for books. That’s right. The monthly plans start at $9.95, you click which books you want to read, they mail them to you, you read and return, then they mail you the next one on your list.
It’s sounds a lot like a library, except this one you pay for. I guess there are some places in the country that have limited access to books, but I find it hard to believe that this new business will actually make any money. It just seems like a really bad idea. Some of this discussion has already crept up on PaperSpine’s blog.
Libraries, local bookstores, Amazon, chain bookstores, etc. they have a pretty good track record for getting books, cheaply into people’s hands. I just don’t see the “it worked for Netflix and movies, so it’ll work here” argument holding any water.