By a happy coincidence, I was channel surfing Monday night at just the right moment to catch author and indie bookstore owner, Ann Patchett, on the Colbert Report. In an earlier post, I discussed Ms Patchett’s bookstore venture. http://wp.me/pYql4-1qW.
Colbert played devil’s advocate, arguing that brick and mortar bookstores are obsolete, and besides, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is no one to mess around with – didn’t he bludgeon the owner of Borders to death with a tire iron?
Patchett said, fine, stay indoors, never talk to anyone, live your life online, “But you’ll wake up one day and find you’ve become the unibomber.”
“A strong argument,” Colbert conceded.
From the sound of it, Patchett’s Parnassus Books has become a community gathering place – not just a bookstore, but a literary salon, a poets corner, a venue for local musicians, and a place where the staff is composed of avid readers who can make suggestions for every taste. If I were an independent bookstore owner, I’d be tempted to travel to Nashville to look at this model of success.
The full episode is available online: http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/mon-february-20-2012-ann-patchett. The Patchett interview is about 2/3 of the way through the show, though with a cup of coffee and a slightly twisted sends of humor, you may enjoy listening to it all.