For love of books

Bookstore>> Economic crisis • The US

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2011

imageAfter a beloved local bookstore closed last December and another store was lost to economic bankruptcy, Vanderbilt, once known as the Athens of the US, became nearly barren of bookstores. A collective panic set in among the city’s reading faithful. But they have found a saviour in Ann Patchett, the best-selling novelist, who grew up in the city.

On November 16, the acclaimed author of Bel Canto opened Parnassus Books. “I have no interest in retail; I have no interest in opening a bookstore,” she says, adding “But I also have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.”

Patchett is well aware that brick-and-mortar bookstores are closing regularly under pressure from online sales and e-books. She said she is counting on her store to drive home a sharp message: buy books at independent stores, or the stores will go away.

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