Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore

by Ann Patchett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
295790,126 (4.64)1

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 1 mention

Showing 5 of 5
I purchased this pamphlet back in 2016 at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT and read it before bed last night. It’s a beautiful nonfiction bedtime story for adult bookworms that’ll give you sweet dreams. 😉 Update: wrote a blog post about it https://wildmoobooks.com/2018/10/14/the-care-and-feeding-of-an-independent-books...

( )
  Chris.Wolak | Oct 13, 2022 |
“I wanted to go into retail as much as I wanted to go into the army”. — Ann Patchett, “The Care and Feeding of Independent Bookstores”

So who is now part owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville? The very same Ann Patchett, author of such books as “State of Wonder” and the recent “The Dutch House.” And why would a successful author, whose novels are both literary and best-sellers, decide to sell books as well as write them? She explains in a slim 34-page book, almost a booklet, called “The Care and Feeding of Independent Bookstores” (2016).

The impetus for this rash decision came with the realization that Nashville, not exactly a small town, had lost the last of its independent bookstores, never mind that those bookstores had been profitable. Just like newspapers, which had begun to sharply reduce their staffs and their content long before they had to just because they assumed they were doomed by technology, so owners of independent bookstores, believing they were seeing the writing on the wall, often closed prematurely. There were still used bookstores and, of course, Barnes and Noble, but independent stores offering exceptional service and charm along with their books were lost.

Then she met Karen Hayes, a woman as devoted to books as she was, who had the drive and know-how to run a bookstore but lacked the capital. Patchett had the money, as well as some things at least as important: a name and a personality that could attract customers from all over the country (myself included) and loads of author friends only too happy to come to Nashville for a reading and book-signing.

The store, despite its less than ideal location, has been a goldmine, for customers as well as for its owners. Some bookstores have cats in residence. Parnassus has dogs, lots of them depending upon which staff members are on duty. Patchett tells of one dog that "could sell a book just by sitting on it." Children are encouraged to read books to these dogs.

"Book by book, our customers vote against free overnight shipping in favor of a community of book lovers," she writes. "They vote for us, and I could not love them more."

Patchett, like members of her staff, enjoys recommending books she loves, and at the end of this little volume she lists 52 such books, with a wonderful little comment about each one. For example: “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury, "My mother gave me this book for my 13th birthday and I carried it with me everywhere so I could read it over and over again'" and “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, "Humbert Humbert is in love with his stepdaughter. Nabokov is in love with the English language. I am in love with this book." ( )
1 vote hardlyhardy | Dec 23, 2019 |
Enjoyed this book. You can tell Patchett is very passionate about bookstores. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
A pamphlet mostly w/ 3 short essays about Patchett's ownership of Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, TN. Will head there some day, but I suspect her types of books are not mine.... ( )
  untraveller | Aug 4, 2016 |
Three of Ann Patchett's previously published essays on how she became a bookstore owner and what she learned in the process of opening an independent bookstore.

The first of an annual series of $6 Stories Pamphlets to be published in celebration of Independent Bookstore Day. ( )
  tapestry100 | May 5, 2016 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions


Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (4.64)
4 2
4.5 1
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 197,682,652 books! | Top bar: Always visible