Reluctant Capitalists

Author: Laura J. Miller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226525929
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Over the past half-century, bookselling, like many retail industries, has evolved from an arena dominated by independent bookstores to one in which chain stores have significant market share. And as in other areas of retail, this transformation has often been a less-than-smooth process. This has been especially pronounced in bookselling, argues Laura J. Miller, because more than most other consumer goods, books are the focus of passionate debate. What drives that debate? And why do so many people believe that bookselling should be immune to questions of profit? In Reluctant Capitalists, Miller looks at a century of book retailing, demonstrating that the independent/chain dynamic is not entirely new. It began one hundred years ago when department stores began selling books, continued through the 1960s with the emergence of national chain stores, and exploded with the formation of “superstores” in the 1990s. The advent of the Internet has further spurred tremendous changes in how booksellers approach their business. All of these changes have met resistance from book professionals and readers who believe that the book business should somehow be “above” market forces and instead embrace more noble priorities. Miller uses interviews with bookstore customers and members of the book industry to explain why books evoke such distinct and heated reactions. She reveals why customers have such fierce loyalty to certain bookstores and why they identify so strongly with different types of books. In the process, she also teases out the meanings of retailing and consumption in American culture at large, underscoring her point that any type of consumer behavior is inevitably political, with consequences for communities as well as commercial institutions.

Building Nature s Market

Author: Laura J. Miller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022650137X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Body-builders and hippies, religious cultists and nature cure believers--these and other marginal groups were the primary consumers of natural foods for at least the first 100 years of their existence. Natural foods were resisted by organized interests like the medical establishment and big agrifood producers. Advocates for natural foods were dismissed as kooks, faddists, and even dangerous quacks. Then, in the 1980s, broad-based support for natural foods began to really take hold. In the last 15 years we have seen an explosion of superstores which feature healthy eating options, while the First Lady goes high-profile with fresh-from-the-garden ingredients and mainstream institutions (hospitals, schools, workplace cafeterias) tout their healthy new eating options. Laura Miller gives us the full natural foods story, from its history to its mass production, distribution and consumption not only of food but other body-care goods. She deals with the role of vegetarianism, organic and sustainable farming, food co-ops, and other practices, placing all this in the context of discussion of private enterprise and social change activities. She features face-to-face interviews with natural foods movement leaders and advocacy groups. She also focuses on movement practices to bolster not only personal health, but the health of the natural environment.

Rebel Bookseller

Author: Andrew Laties
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 160980337X
Format: PDF, ePub
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The revival of independent bookselling has already begun and is one of the amazing stories of our times. Bookseller Andy Laties wrote the first edition of Rebel Bookseller six years ago, hoping it would spark a movement. Now, with this second edition, Laties’s book can be a rallying cry for everyone who wants to better understand how the rise of the big bookstore chains led irrevocably to their decline, and how even in the face of electronic readers from three of America’s largest and most successful companies—Apple, Amazon, and Google—the movement to support locally owned independent stores, especially bookstores, is on the rise. From the mid-1980s to the present, Andy Laties has been an independent bookseller, starting out in Chicago, teaching along the way at the American Booksellers Association, and finally running the bookshop at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. His innovations were adapted by Barnes & Noble, Zany Brainy, and scores of independent stores. In Rebel Bookseller, Laties tells how he got started, how he kept going, and why he believes independent bookselling has a great future. He alternates his narrative with short anecdotes, interludes between the chapters that give his credo as a bookseller. Along the way, he explains the growth of the chains, and throws in a treasure trove of tips for anyone who is considering opening up a bookstore. Rebel Bookseller is a must read for those in the book biz, a testament to the ingeniousness of one man man’s story of making a life out of his passionate commitment to books and bookselling.

The Late Age of Print

Author: Ted Striphas
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231148151
Format: PDF, Docs
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Ted Striphas tracks the methods through which the book industry has adapted (or has failed to adapt) to rapid changes in twentieth-century print culture. With examples from trade journals, news media, films, advertisements, and other commercial and scholarly materials, Striphas tells a story of modern publishing that proves, even in a rapidly digitizing world, books are anything but dead. With wit and brilliant insight, he isolates the invisible processes through which books have come to mediate our social interactions and influence our habits of consumption. This edition features a new preface in which Striphas considers the stakes of abandoning printed books in favor of digital readers.

Angus Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books 1930 1970

Author: Jason D. Ensor
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 1783081058
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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‘Angus & Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books, 1930–1970’ traces the history of the printed book in Australia, particularly the production and business context that mediated Australia’s literary and cultural ties to Britain for much of the twentieth century. This study focuses on the London operations of one of Australia’s premier book publishers of the twentieth century: Angus & Robertson. The book argues that despite the obvious limitations of a British-dominated market, Australian publishers had room to manoeuvre in it. It questions the ways in which Angus & Robertson replicated, challenged or transformed the often highly criticised commercial practices of British publishers in order to develop an export trade for Australian books in the United Kingdom. This book is the answer to the current void in the literary market for a substantial history of Australia’s largest publisher and its role in the development of Australia’s export book trade.

Merchants of Culture

Author: John B. Thompson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745661424
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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These are turbulent times in the world of book publishing. For nearly five centuries the methods and practices of book publishing remained largely unchanged, but at the dawn of the twenty-first century the industry finds itself faced with perhaps the greatest challenges since Gutenberg. A combination of economic pressures and technological change is forcing publishers to alter their practices and think hard about the future of the books in the digital age. In this book - the first major study of trade publishing for more than 30 years - Thompson situates the current challenges facing the industry in an historical context, analysing the transformation of trade publishing in the United States and Britain since the 1960s. He gives a detailed account of how the world of trade publishing really works, dissecting the roles of publishers, agents and booksellers and showing how their practices are shaped by a field that has a distinctive structure and dynamic. This new paperback edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to take account of the most recent developments, including the dramatic increase in ebook sales and its implications for the publishing industry and its future.

Kindly Inquisitors

Author: Jonathan Rauch
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022613055X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.” So writes Jonathan Rauch in Kindly Inquisitors, which has challenged readers for more than twenty years with its bracing and provocative exploration of the issues surrounding attempts to limit free speech. In it, Rauch makes a persuasive argument for the value of “liberal science” and the idea that conflicting views produce knowledge within society. In this expanded edition of Kindly Inquisitors, a new foreword by George F. Will strikingly shows the book’s continued relevance, while a substantial new afterword by Rauch elaborates upon his original argument and brings it fully up to date. Two decades after the book’s initial publication, while some progress has been made, the regulation of hate speech has grown domestically—especially in American universities—and has spread even more internationally, where there is no First Amendment to serve as a meaningful check. But the answer to bias and prejudice, Rauch argues, is pluralism—not purism. Rather than attempting to legislate bias and prejudice out of existence or to drive them underground, we must pit them against one another to foster a more vigorous and fruitful discussion. It is this process that has been responsible for the growing acceptance of the moral acceptability of homosexuality over the last twenty years. And it is this process, Rauch argues, that will enable us as a society to replace hate with knowledge, both ethical and empirical. “It is a melancholy fact that this elegant book, which is slender and sharp as a stiletto, is needed, now even more than two decades ago. Armed with it, readers can slice through the pernicious ideas that are producing the still-thickening thicket of rules, codes, and regulations restricting freedom of thought and expression.”—George F. Will, from the foreword

Lived Experiences of Public Consumption

Author: D. Cook
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230591264
Format: PDF, ePub
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This collection of original ethnographically based research from five continents, provides insights into the dynamics of stability and change in our globalizing world. The chapters comprising Live Experiences of Public Consumption give a vivid account of how cultural and economic value intertwine at face-to-face encounters in marketplaces.

The Late Age of Print

Author: Ted Striphas
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519648
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Ted Striphas argues that, although the production and propagation of books have undoubtedly entered a new phase, printed works are still very much a part of our everyday lives. With examples from trade journals, news media, films, advertisements, and a host of other commercial and scholarly materials, Striphas tells a story of modern publishing that proves, even in a rapidly digitizing world, books are anything but dead. From the rise of retail superstores to Oprah's phenomenal reach, Striphas tracks the methods through which the book industry has adapted (or has failed to adapt) to rapid changes in twentieth-century print culture. Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com have established new routes of traffic in and around books, and pop sensations like Harry Potter and the Oprah Book Club have inspired the kind of brand loyalty that could only make advertisers swoon. At the same time, advances in digital technology have presented the book industry with extraordinary threats and unique opportunities. Striphas's provocative analysis offers a counternarrative to those who either triumphantly declare the end of printed books or deeply mourn their passing. With wit and brilliant insight, he isolates the invisible processes through which books have come to mediate our social interactions and influence our habits of consumption, integrating themselves into our routines and intellects like never before.