Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Night of Paperback Dreams

Last night we had a showing of documentarian Alex Beckstead's wonderful new film, "Paperback Dreams" here at the University Book Store, Seattle. (That's him on the left there.)

If you haven't seen this movie yet, and if you care at all about independent bookstores and our place in the wider culture, please make sure you catch the upcoming broadcast on KCTS, airing December 18th, at 10 PM.

The film is subtitled, "The Life & Times of the Independent Bookstore," and details beautifully the struggles of two such Bay Area institutions; Cody's and Kepler's.

After last night's movie, there was a short panel discussion featuring the filmmaker, our own Brad from New & Used Books here at University Book Store, and Vlad from Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. The tone was -- as befitted the discussion -- more often wistful than celebratory, but everyone present seemed to enjoy the evening.

Having Alex here with his film made the evening particularly memorable. His current tour has taken him to a wide rang of independent bookstores across the US, and his contribution to the discussion brought home to us all that the solution to the decline in the number of independent bookstores nationwide may be, ironically enough, in keeping our local institutions alive. Working in a store that's been in Seattle since 1900, I was left feeling very privileged indeed to live and work in such a literate city.
Thanks, Alex. Thanks, Vlad. Thanks, Seattle.

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