Video Alert: Independent Bookstores: Ever Resilient

“Independent bookstores are magical places.”

Video credit:

Independent Bookstores: Ever Resilient

(A Documentary Film By Alana King)

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Tuxedo Junction, 2, Dunottar Street, Orange Grove, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Photo Credit: Heather Mason



The Face of Books for Good: Lynn Vorys

Image Courtesy of Books for Good


Book lovers with money are always looking for great places to hunt for rare treasures to add to their collections. When we winnow out those collections, we often want to get our books into the hands of other book lovers, particularly those who may have less money. Lynn Vorys has combined those two passions, and created a unique not-for-profit operation which not only gets great books to people at a discount price, but also provides much needed financial help to her community in Fletcher, N.C.

Vorys says that she always loved books, and as a result, started working around them when she was only 12 years-old. She even had to get a special note from her parents to allow her to work at such a young age.

Owner Lynn Vorys and volunteer Harry Hankla. Photo by Tim Robison.
Owner Lynn Vorys and volunteer Harry Hankla. Photo by Tim Robison.

In 2014, she decided to create a community bookstore, which relies on community donations to stack the shelves. People who donate their books are allowed to select a charity to benefit from the sale. The only money deducted from the net sales is for rent and utilities. The bookstore is completely staffed by volunteers.

For more info, check out Books For Good

Image Courtesy of Books for Good

Fantastic Lego Libraries and Bookstores!

Image Courtesy of Jeff Stvan via Flickr. I visit Half Price Books whenever I'm in Texas.
Image Courtesy of Jeff Stvan via Flickr. I visit Half Price Books  whenever I’m in Texas.

We didn’t have Legos when I was a child; we had Brand X blocks, which were not nearly as much fun. I never thought about trying to build something out of Legos. For years I have volunteered in an historic building. I know it so well that I considered commissioning someone to build a dollhouse for me, but I’m not a dollhouse kind of girl.

A look inside a Lego library built by Joe Hardenbrook. Image courtesy of the artist.
A look inside a Lego library built by Joe Hardenbrook. Image courtesy of the artist.

These Lego libraries are absolutely inspiring, and I could even make a mini-me to go with the library. I may have to buy some blocks and build something of my own. What do you think? Should I try to reproduce my home library, or should I go with a building exterior?

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Best Loved Fictional Bookstores

As you might imagine, I am as passionate about the accoutrement surrounding books as I am about books themselves. I was delighted to see Bustle’s list of “10 Fictional Bookstores We Wish We Could Shop In, Because Flourish and Blott’s Is Too Magical To Not Exist.”

Some of them are famous, and really need to be included on any list. These are the ones Bustle included:

The Shop Around the Corner from You’ve Got Mail

We all wish would could visit a bookstore with a children’s hour as cute as those sponsored by Meg Ryan, or find a bookstore owner with an equally encyclopedic knowledge of books.

Embryo Concepts from Funny Face

Two words: Audrey Hepburn.

Women & Women First from Portlandia

I haven’t seen the show so I can’t comment on this one.

Flourish & Blott’s from the Harry Potter Series

We all want to live in Flourish and Blott’s. Magic books in a magical setting, what’s not to love?

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore from Mr. Penumbra’s 24-House Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I am a diehard geek. I was a geek before it was fashionable, and read S/F and Fantasy during its late golden age. To find a bookstore that leads to an uber-geekdom is every gamers dream come true. AND it’s open 24 hours!

Parnassus on Wheels from Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

This would be the ultimate in luxury, a bookstore that comes to me. I know Amazon may seem to promise the same, but it’s not. I can’t browse, handle the books, and enjoy the ones that are beautifully bound before I buy them.

The Village Bookstore from Beauty and the Beast

Singing aside, it’s nice to see someone equally enthusiastic about books.

Geiger’s Bookstore from The Big Sleep

Okay, I’d forgotten this one until it appeared on their list, but Bogart and Bacall smoldering between the stacks is a tough image to beat.

Monsieur Labisse’s Bookstore from Hugo

Both the bookstores featured in the novel (The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick) and the Academy Award Winning movie (Hugo) are enticing, but I have to give Selznick’s visions a winning edge just because the book is always better.

 Island Books from The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

Bookstore owner Fikry had no idea the changes that will come into his life through his retail ownership.

I would like to add a few more to the list, although I’ll probably get comments about extending the list beyond the defined “10.”

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (Author), Joe Bluhm (Illustrator)

I found the movie before I read the book. While it broke my heart a little to think Morris never found his true love, the books and his patrons obviously filled his life. The short is another Academy Award Winner, so I have to include it on my list.

Image Courtesy of Sun Brockie
Image Courtesy of Sun Brockie

The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay

The novel setting is based on The Strand Bookstore in New York, which is as close to a magical fictional setting as you’ll find in the real world. I may be cheating, but I had to include it on my list.

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley

I suppose Amy Sachs, author of the Bustle story, didn’t want to include two Morley novels, but I find it hard to choose between them. This follow-up to Parnassus on Wheels actually reveals more about the book trade.

Theater Card Image Courtesy of
Theater Card Image Courtesy of Ghostbusters Fans

Rays’ Occult Bookstore from Ghostbusters

Bustle included several movies, so here’s one from me. Who ya gonna call?