Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Feeling Independent

Sometimes you just have to break free of the chains and declare your independence. Even if you don't have an independent bookstore in your area you can visit one on the web. Dark Carnival specializes in scfi, fantasy and horror. While they don't have online shopping you can still contact them and order over the phone or via email. But don't let that deter you from visiting their website where you can read The Barker, a quarterly online review magazine they published in the mid-nineties. They also offer reading suggestions for books both old and new. I gave my Bookman three books I found on one of their lists for Solstice. He's read one so far and loved it. If crime is more you style, visit Mysterious Bookshop. Among other things, the site offers lists (here I go with the lists again) of suggested reading and a list of Edgar Award winners and nominees. Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York doesn't specialize in things Wildean, or is that Oscarian? Their claim to fame is the first gay bookstore in the world. There is no online shopping, but they do showcase some of their vintage books. Vintage means original or out of print, so don't be shocked by the sticker price. I am lucky to work right next door to Amazon Bookstore Cooperative the oldest feminist bookstore in North America. I can't say that I visit their website often, but for those of you farther away they offer online shopping, reviews of new books and some great links. A newer bookstore in Minneapolis is Birchbark Books specializing in Native American fiction and nonfiction. The store is owned by none other than author Louise Erdrich. And finally, there is Ruminator formerly Hungry Mind. They don't have a particular specialty, but they do tend toward literary fiction. Online you can shop the store, read the Ruminator Review, and check out what the Ruminator Press is publishing. And if you have ever wanted to own a bookstore you now have chance. Ruminator recently made a public stock offering and there are still some shares left. Ownership without the work. If you have a favorite independent bookstore with an online site you'd like to share, send me an email and I'll post it. And who knows, if you visit some of these sites enough you might feel the need to go visit them in person. Book shopping in towns not my own is one of my favorite activities. Road trip anyone?