Independent Bookstore Day Is This Saturday!

From Dave at Little Shop…

Independent Bookstore Day is this Saturday, April 29th.  There will be exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before. Not after. Not online. Each participating bookstore will be offering a variety of different events. Come check us out your local bookstores including Charis Books and More, Eagle Eye Book Shop, and Little Shop of Stories!

And while you’re in the indie spirit, follow our friends at Decatur-based Indie Bookstore Tour on Instagram!

Disclosure: Little Shop of Stories is a long-time DM sponsor 

Newly Expanded Little Shop of Stories Is Now Open For Business!

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Have you been inside the newly renovated Little Shop of Stories yet??

It’s been open to the general public for about a week and it’s pretty awesome. I took a bunch of photos this past weekend, which I’m sharing in this post.

LSOS co-owner Diane Capriola tells us “We are thrilled about this new chapter in Little Shop’s history.  While our new space is still a work in progress, we are looking forward to showing it off to the community!   It certainly offers something new and fun for everyone.”

She also noted that the Little Shop team is celebrating the expansion this evening.  Stop by beginning at 7pm and enjoy some snacks in the expanded space and hear some live music from Decatur’s Magno.

Personally, I think the expansion checks many boxes – it gives LSOS the necessary room to expand their offerings while also providing a bit of extra room for the throngs of customers.  It provides a larger street front presence.  And it gives kids an awesome kid-size door between the old and new space (see pic below), which Capriola tells us was a common request by customers when the renovation was first announced.

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Sherman Alexie at Decatur Library Tonight

Dave at Little Shop of Stories writes in to remind us of this author event tonight at 7:00pm at Decatur Library.

Alexie4Sherman Alexie, one of the best and most diverse American writers working today, will be at the Decatur Library to introduce his newest work and first picture book, Thunder Boy Jr. Named after his father, Thunder Boy Smith Sr., the story is about a boy wanting to claim his own name. “When you talk about the Native American search for identity, it’s almost always a story of loss and pain. I wanted to write a picture book in which a kid goes on a search for identity in the context of a lovely family.”

Alexie is an acclaimed writer of poetry, short stories, literary fiction, and screenplays. He received the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a semi-autobiographical account of growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and attending high school off the reservation.

From the New York Times book review:

“Alexie’s expertly paced text zips along with loving interjections from the boy’s entire family, led by a precocious little sister. Morales’s richly textured art crackles with boundless energy. Somehow, in her hands the color yellow radiates with a life of its own.

“There is a crucial moment when the father recognizes his son’s struggle and concludes: “I think it’s time I gave you a new name. A name of your own.” The boy’s reaction — “My dad read my mind! My dad read my heart!” — breathes with an authentic mix of relief and exhilaration, the giddy thrill of being truly seen and understood by someone you love.

“The fitting choice for his new name (I won’t spoil it for you) cleverly allows the boy to forge a unique identity without severing ties to the past. Morales shows him standing proudly upon his father’s broad shoulders, ready to reach for new heights.

“Sometimes, to take the world by storm, all you need is the power of the right word.”

This event, in partnership with the Georgia Center for the Book, will be held at the Decatur Library. You must purchase a copy of Thunder Boy Jr. from Little Shop of Stories in order to receive a ticket to enter the signing line.

 

Image courtesy of the Little Shop of Stories website.  Little Shop of Stories is a DM sponsor.

The Return of the Book?

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You may have noticed that I linked to a post on Electric Lit a few days back that highlighted brick-and-mortar book sales are up $280 million since last year, asking a very intriguing question – “Are these the Early Days of the Bookstore Boom?

Then yesterday, the earth-shattering news that Barnes and Noble “had another not-so-bad quarter“.  Book sales at B&N declined JUST 1.8% vs. same-period last year, but sales of toys and games (read: adult coloring books and vinyl) helped fill the gap, up 12.8% vs. last year.

And if that doesn’t get you going, check out these other facts from the NYT post…

E-books vs. Paperbacks

• E-book sales in the country fell 12.3 percent.

• Paperback book sales grew 12.4 percent.

Bookstore sales

Over all, bookstore sales rose 2.5 percent last year, to $11.17 billion, from $10.89 billion in 2014, according to the Census Bureau. It is the first time that bookstore sales have grown since 2007.

Independent Book Stores

In 2010, there were 1,410 independent bookstores in 1,660 locations;

In 2015, there were 1,712 indie stores in 2,227 locations.

Pretty great news huh?  Just on 3 years ago, Dave at LSOS was asking some big questions HERE about B&N and the future of the publishing industry.  Today the wind seems to be enough at LSOS’ back that they’re expanding into the space next door.  (see photo above)

Certainly, nothing is certain in the publishing industry today.  But it’s still a great bit of news for those of us that reserve a special place in our hearts for the local bookstore.

LSOS photo courtesy of Daren

Little Shop of Stories is Expanding!

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Our good friends at Little Shop of Stories tell us that they’re expanding into the recently shuttered Vivid Boutique space next door in the coming months.

Co-owner Dave Shallenberger says the LSOS team is…

very excited to be able to grow and do even more of what we love. We hope to become a great community bookstore and will have a lot more space in our effort to achieve that goal. We love Decatur!!!

No one asked for my opinion, but this is a great move that makes total sense and will obviously help take Little Shop to an even greater level of awesome.

Little Shop Staffers Awarded James Patterson Holiday Bonuses

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James Patterson has long been a friend of the independent bookstore.

You may recall that this isn’t the first time that Little Shop of Stories has been blessed with a grant from Mr. Patterson.

Just last year, a grant from Mr. Patterson helped Little Shop retrofit a bus for its book fair business.  Well this year, Mr. Patterson is celebrating the holiday season by giving out $250,000 in holiday bonuses of $1,000-$5000 to 87 independent booksellers.  And two Little Shop staffers made the list!

Both Kimberly Jones and Sunny Bowles of Little Shop were announced as recipients of 2015 James Patterson Holiday Bonus Program.

Congrats to Kimberly and Sunny! See the full list of recipients HERE.

Master’s Student Asks: How and Why Does Little Shop of Stories Matter To Decatur?

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Master’s student Joy is gathering feedback about the impact of the Little Shop of Stories on the Decatur community for an essay she’s writing.

She wrote in asking whether we would be willing to contemplate the follow question – does Little Shop of Stories matter to Decatur, and if so, how and why?  She’s also specifically curious to know if it matters that Little Shop is a children’s bookstore, and whether Decaturites wish for a “Big shop” as well with grown-up books.

Photo courtesy of Sydney Huggins via Flickr