The New Yorker Cover, June 9

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the fine print extravaganza that is The New Yorker, have a look at the cover of next week’s issue, dated 9 June.

If I had balls, that cover would have kicked me in them.

Thanks to Dagny for the link.

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  1. 1
    DBN says:

    I went into a bookstore in Richmond, Va last weekend and thought that while the internet is fabulous and shipping is great, there is nothing like walking into a bookstore and smelling the scent of paper and ink. I love to browse the aisles, look at the covers, hold the book—something you just can not do on the internet.

  2. 2
    Rebecca says:

    What a great cover.

  3. 3
    dillene says:

    Regular bookstores are heady enough, but used bookstores . . . wow.  I lose track of time in some of my local used bookstores, and wouldn’t be surprised to find myself locked in somewhere sooner or later. 

    If there were a perfume called “Used Bookstore”, then I’d probably wear it.

  4. 4
    Jen C says:

    Well, I feel really guilty. Stupid Amazon low prices and general evilness.

  5. 5
    SonomaLass says:

    Wow, that’s great!

    I make a conscious effort to spend at least half of my book money in actual stores, and as much as possible of that in the local not-a-chain store.  I, too, am a sucker for used books, and while I occasionally go to the internet to find something I specifically want, a browse through any book store (new or used) will end with me buying a pile of titles.  Never fails.

    On the other hand, buying new titles (even from Amazon) supports the authors, which used buying does not.  So I guess it’s a balancing act, like so much in life.

  6. 6
    Allie says:

    I get really paranoid sometimes and think that amazon and the Kindle are going to destroy physical books and bookstores.  I don’t like eBooks – I don’t want to read them, but what if in 10 years they displace paper books?  Will physical books become like vinyl records – collectibles that only some people seek out?

    I stopped using amazon a few months ago and am now only getting books through stores in my area or through bookmooch.

  7. 7
    Jage says:

    I have actually only bought books online once and that’s because it was for school and I wasn’t paying $50+ for a book I could get for $20. Other than that I’m a bookstore person all the way. New books make me giddy just because all those brand new books//authors available to me that will probably be there for awhile while used bookstores is more like treasure hunting, books or authors I’ve read but are no longer being published [L.J. Smith comes to mind although she’s being re-released] and all for prices that means I can usually buy more than three if I’m lucky.

  8. 8
    Marianne McA says:

    Why?

    I already feel guilty about plastic bags, cheap clothing, and not cleaning out the chickens as often as I should. I think I want to be a Victorian, and live in an age of Forthright Optimism, rather than one of Pervasive Guilt.  So, tell me, why do I need to feel guilty about buying from Amazon?

    As long as the author gets paid, does it matter?

  9. 9
    NancyG says:

    I feel for indie bookstore owners, and if there were any around these parts, I’d probably shop there. But the only book retailer in town is a B&N;, and they never have what I want. Really. I’ve gone in with a list of as many as twelve titles, only to find that they aren’t in stock.

    They (B&N;) offer to order them, but on Amazon I pay no sales tax and no shipping, and the prices are lower. I’m not going to take that much of a financial hit for a big chain.

    But yeah, I wish we had Ye Olde Book Seller here …

  10. 10

    Great cover. I’m an equal opportunity book shopper – I’ll buy them anywhere. I was on vacation in northern California – small gold rush town, can’t remember the name – and they had a fabulous indie with an amazing selection of old gardening books. Shipped home a box of them.
    I’ve been a bookstore manager for one of the chains, and now I’m a new mystery writer (hoping to be sold everywhere) so I feel for both sides of this issue.
    …just saw orangehands comment on The Princess Bride…it’s inconceivable!!

  11. 11
    Amanda says:

    I get really paranoid sometimes and think that amazon and the Kindle are going to destroy physical books and bookstores.

    At the moment, I can confidently say that ebooks are increasing the sales of physical books LOL My SO is so much of a technophobe that he won’t even pick up my Sony reader, let alone read on it, so every time I buy a good ebook and tell him about it, he runs down to Borders and buys the paperback. Consequently, the author makes two sales rather than just one. Can’t be bad.  Not to mention all the ebooks I have bought that I already own in hard copy because I prefer the convenience of the Reader.

  12. 12

    I support indies whenever I can, but I rarely encounter them. Most of the ones around here seem to be mainly for Civil War buffs anyway. Not exactly my cup of tea.

    The chains I couldn’t really give a flip about. I have very limited shopping time, as in NONE. Most of the time they either have no black romances, or they’re segregated and thrown in a pile with every other black fiction book on the planet. I simply don’t have time for that.

    I deliberately made a trip to B&N;a couple of weeks ago to buy a friend’s book. I try to buy black romances in a brick and mortar store whenever possible to support sales. As usual, they didn’t have it. So I ordered it. That means I have to make TWO TRIPS to the damned store with a four year old in tow. Frankly, it’s so not worth it.

  13. 13
    Jesbelle says:

    I’d love to support my local bookstores more, but unfortunately I live in Cambridge. So far every small bookseller I’ve visited (especially the Harvard Co-op, not that it’s small) has one very small shelf, if any at all, dedicated to romance. Most will order anything, but I hate the wait, so I end up a Borders anyway.

    (Also the bitchy looks of the undergrad working the counter at the Co-op, SO not appreciated.)

    I wish I could be more supportive of local business and the small bookseller. Anyone else in the area who’s had luck at a certain store? Porter Square Books usually gets new releases, but that’s the best I’ve found.

  14. 14
    Noelle says:

    I recently hosted an author that was in town to present a workshop. As we were touring around town I made sure she saw both long standing independent bookstores in the area. At the first store, The Bookmark in downtown Charlotte, things went great. They have a good many romances in their small store (2 full shelves and two end caps). David and Cathy were enthusiastic and welcoming and spent a good deal of time talking with us about romance and book selling in general. They don’t live in a mansion but they put their kids through college and are happy as clams with their store.
    At the second store she was down right offended and so was I. They had in the whole store (that was twice the size of the other) MAYBE a couple dozen romance titles.  They have had romances in the past but now it seems they are concentrating on Southern fiction and mystery. IDIOTS!  They are shooting themselves in the foot! It’s a business people! Why would you shut out 61% of all mass market paperback sells?  Too make yourself feel all cool and literary? Whatever. The need for a mate and to have an emotional connection with another human being is a fundamental human desire that has build civilizations and toppled empires and that stick up your ass isn’t going to keep you warm at night! Whew boy, calming down now.
    As for Amazon vs. brick and mortar, I’ve done both. But what I get from David and Cathy and The Bookmark is top notch customer service and a friendly comforting atmosphere that is priceless.

  15. 15

    Not really close to Cambridge, but if you’re ordering anyway..Cornerstone Books in Salem MA is a wonderful indie.

  16. 16

    What’s really shocking is that the Amazon box doesn’t hold a book. It has a Kindle. And it’ll light fire to all things paper.

  17. 17
    Becky says:

    There’s an independant just down the street from me.  They carry a little bit of everything, except romance.  I stopped by one day, just to browse, and asked for the new Jennifer Crusie.  They’d never heard of her.  Seriously.

    They are really involved with YA, however.  In the last year or so they’ve hosted signings by Rick Riordan, Melissa Marr, Tera Lynn Childs, and Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, as well as release parties for the new Harry Potter and Twilight series books.  If I had kids, or the money to buy my YA’s new and in hardback, I’d be there all the time.

  18. 18
    Kelly Anne says:

    Haha, I rarely buy Amazon simply because, if I really want something, I am unable to wait for it.  That said, I live in an area where all bookstores are big boxes and there are no little used gems, so I have very few options for buying used.

  19. 19
    GrowlyCub says:

    Closest bookstore is 60 miles away, so ordering online is pretty much the only game for me.  I use Bamm.com.  Not as comfortable as Amazon, but I keep my wishlist and do my research there and then buy at Bamm.com.  Cheaper and not trying to take over the world just yet.

    At pretty much all independents I visited over the years in different parts of the country they looked at me like I was a cockroach for asking for their mostly non-existent romance section.  Yeah, big chain stores kill indies, but they are doing their share of committing suicide.

  20. 20
    Suze says:

    I find it really interesting that we readers are so very aware of the impact our buying habits have on the suppliers (authors).  I try to be a conscientious shopper in all areas of life, buy fair trade when I can, organic when I can, local when I can (hardly ever!), and I flat-out avoid WalMart.  But really, in most shopping categories, the fate of the producers is really not foremost in my mind when I’m choosing between store A and store B, I’m just going for what’s easiest and cheapest to get.

    When I hit the big city, I spend money at the 2 really great independent book stores, but while they have excellent sci-fi/fantasy sections, they have no romance.  And not a heck of a lot of parking, which is yet another reason why the ginormous Chapters and Indigo stores get more of my business when I’m down south.

    The only bookstore in my town is a small, nationwide chain one with really poor selection, and it usually takes a week or so for new releases to get here.  For example, it took me a month to get my hands on J.R. Ward’s new one last fall.  I don’t expect to get this spring’s new one for at least another week.

    trade52:  I’d trade 52 local fast food joints for one quality bookstore.

  21. 21
    Kayigo says:

    Recently, my local shopping mall remodeled.  It is now the size of a small city.  It has more shoe stores than you can shake a stick at.  It has a shop which sells nothing but exotic imported tea.  And it has no bookstore.  At all.  I wanted to lay down my head and cry, I really did.

  22. 22
    Deb Kinnard says:

    Color me silly, but Amazon is so off my radar-scope that all I “saw” while looking at the cover, was that the neighbor was accepting a publisher’s shipment for the bookshop. And I was like, “Okay, so? She’s just being kind, ‘cause he’s just opening and UPS doesn’t like to wait…”

    Just goes to prove—at the end of the day, it’s all perception.

    spam: surface19, as in “look below the…”

  23. 23
    KimberlyD says:

    Ah hah. Now I understand the picture. On my laptop, I couldn’t tell that the box was Amazon. I saw the entry last night before there were any comments and I couldn’t figure out the significance. Does it specifically say “Books” on the box as well? Because Amazon sells lots of stuff. If that lady actually lives right next to a bookstore and ordered books from Amazon, I’m sure he doesn’t stock what she wanted. Its so much easier to tell if you want a book by browsing in a store than it is to look at the tiny cover online, read reviews by people who may or may not be trusted, and hope the blurb accurately gives the tone of the book.

    I usually only do the internet thing to pre-order books so I don’t have to worry about remembering when they come out. I would rather look at the book itself before I decide to buy it. And you can hate me if you want, but I love me some big chain stores. There’s usually plenty of variety on all subjects, everything is easy to find, and its usually pretty convenient for me.

  24. 24
    Kelly says:

    Kayigo – happily, one of my local malls just remodeled, as well, and lured Barnes and Noble from their old spot into the mall. So now I have a mega-huge Barnes and Noble that actually made the philosopher in me fall over in glee – I can haz ROWS of philosophy books? JOY!

    My choices around here are the usual: Borders and Barnes and Noble. There is a semi-usedish bookstore that’s primarily for the college, and another hidden in a residential that is a really eclectic place. Fun to browse and see what you can find, but not a place to go if you’re looking for something specific.

    That’s a big hit for someone who is accustomed to several Powell’s within driving distance. So yeah, Amazon can be my friend – but I’ll shop Powell’s, first, and see if they have it cheaper before trying Amazon.

    Also, being in academia, Amazon simply offers books no one else has. I feel sorryish for the small bookstores, except there’s no way they’re going to carry most of the books I need at this point. And yes, if I’m already ordering $100 worth of books (so, yeah, what, two if I’m lucky) from an online shop, it makes the most sense to add in that paperback or two I’d been planning on buying. I understand why bookstores have to both focus on things that sell and opt to specialize (limited space means making those decisions), but by doing so, they also alienate people like me who’re just as likely to pick up something from history, social sciences, scifi, and philosophy as anything else. And I’m going to shop at the place where I can get as much as possible at once.

    (More86? Well, more anyhow. Always the right answer when it comes to books.)

  25. 25
    Arethusa says:

    Why?

    I already feel guilty about plastic bags, cheap clothing, and not cleaning out the chickens as often as I should. I think I want to be a Victorian, and live in an age of Forthright Optimism, rather than one of Pervasive Guilt.  So, tell me, why do I need to feel guilty about buying from Amazon?

    Marianne

    I think that some of us are getting a bit too much out of a single image, as if it were in itself a nuanced argument rather than an idea that is no doubt explicated in an actual article. (I also loved that other comment by someone who said, “Well, obv. if she was right by a bookstore she’d have gone there.” Way to take it literally, eh?)

    Obviously there are readers, especially out in rural areas, I think, who don’t have a wealth of local bookstore options. And while indie stores are great the stock usually falls along the lines of the owner’s whims and fancies. Like other commenters my local bookstore sucks when it comes to adult genre reads (and science non-fiction, incidentally) so unless I’m looking for La Nora or Douglas Adams it’s the local chain for me. It also carries zero literary journals so again it’s the chain for me if I want to flip through the London Review of Books. There’s all sorts of different factors that affect one’s buying habits.

    However I do think it’s fair to point out that in our culture’s reverence for “convenience” we have lost sight of the fact that fastest and cheapest doesn’t always equal best for all those concerned including ourselves. That in the rush to get at the cheapest, we don’t realise it doesn’t necessarily equal the wisest and that with a more balanced, managed outlook we could save ourselves from being in a situation where one business entity becomes too powerful and we effectively lose the ability to adopt a balanced plan.

    Isn’t it a little simplistic to reduce it all down to the author getting paid?

  26. 26
    katiebabs says:

    That cover is the perfect example of my life! :D
    And I always want more packages of lovely books!

    I have one remaining UBS in my area that is a treasure chest of OOP books. And the owner says there is no way in hell he is leaving anytime soon. :D

  27. 27

    However I do think it’s fair to point out that in our culture’s reverence for “convenience” we have lost sight of the fact that fastest and cheapest doesn’t always equal best for all those concerned including ourselves.

    But I think this sentiment also needs to apply to bookstore owners.  If you substitude ideals for convenience’ and stubborn independence for fastest and cheapest

    The idea that you can stock a store based on whims, and the owner’s personal taste is the thing that kills a lot of independents. 

    If I think that I can get what I want from a local store, or that they had any interest in providing me service?  I will go out of my way to shop there.  I love the personal feeling I get at our local record store, for example.  It doesn’t mean I never use Itunes.  But I make sure that a lot of my business stays local, since the brick and mortar store knows my name, knows my tastes, and can turn special orders around in less than a week.  And although I ask them to find the most outlandish things on the planet, they never make me feel like a freak, for asking.

    But I get tired of giving in an infinite number of second chances to small business owners, especially bookstores, who refuse to recognize and respond to my needs.  They don’t stock what I read.  Hell, they don’t stock what I write, and I’m a local author.  And I don’t drink coffee, and their tea selection is disappointing.  It’s hard to work up the desire to make special orders when it is so apparent that I am not the target audience.

    I understand that a small store can’t please everybody.  But since I see the same copies of the same books, sitting unsold in exactly the same place on the shelves, every time I go in, I wonder who exactly they are trying to please, other than themselves.

  28. 28
    SB Sarah says:

    Question: are there bookstores out there that specialize in romance? I thought I heard of one in California, but my Google-Fu is hampered at present. I know my local UBS has a heaping pile of used romances, some of which are so old the page edges are dyed yellow or, even better, comes-off-on-your-hands red.

    There are definitely stores that have a devoted romance selection. I know TTP books in Boonsboro, MD, is supposed to have a great and majestic romance section, based partially on the Nora Roberts backlist. And the Borders Of My Heart, on 59th and Park Avenue, has a big ass bookshelf upon bookshelf, all of romance (much bigger, I hear, than the B&Ns;in NYC). But a store that specializes in nothing but romance? Does such a creature exist?

  29. 29
    Dagny (deputman) says:

    For me, the cover invoked thoughts about my ideals and my practices.  I asked myself how often I make the effort to buy in a store and does that correspond with how often I complain about not having a store.  What role am I playing in this supply/demand equation?  Do I have the right to be upset that they aren’t supplying the store I demand, if I took my demands elsewhere in the first place?  Would I make the same choice if someone was watching and could call me on what I’m thinking is my own hypocrisy.

    It’s been nearly 12 years since my first Amazon order—I was subscribing to the Silhouette Special Editions at that time and received the first SSE La Nora’s McKade Brother series and wanted to track down the previous non-SSE books that was no longer in stores.  But since then online is often my store of first resort, not last or even one of many.  It’s something that’s troubling to me when I think this directly about it and something that I’ll need to take into consideration when making future purchases.  As it is, I’ve lived in Atlanta for seven years and couldn’t tell you where any non-chain, non- used stores are.  I think there’s one in Virginia Highlands but that’s 40 minutes from me and I’d spend my whole book budget on gas. 

    I guess what I’m saying is that the cover made me think and that’s never bad.  It won’t provoke the same thoughts and feelings in everyone but I’m enjoying reading them all.  Thanks for posting it Sarah.

  30. 30
    ChristineP says:

    Maybe Romance World Books in El Cajon, California?

    It looks as if they sell both new and used.

    (Merely 89? Not quite halfway there yet!)

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