Author Attempts to Defy Odds, Opens Small Bookstore

In a time where Amazon and Barnes and Noble rule, the little guys are being shut down. That’s all well and good until it left Nashville, Tennessee without a bookstore. But now a local author is attempting to defy the odds by opening her own bookstore — one she says she doesn’t even want.

According to this article by The New York Times, Ann Patchett — the bestselling author of State of Wonder — is opening her own bookstore, called Parnassus. She couldn’t believe that this cultural city, which is also the home of Vanderbilt University, faced becoming a city with only a campus bookstore.

Between money she earned from her own book sales, the help of her business partner and publishing veteran, Karen Hayes, and six months of hard work, Patchett opened the store earlier this month.

Opening an independent bookstore in this day and age is hard, and Patchett knows it. But it’s also not impossible as Julie Bosman explains.

But she is aspiring to join a small band of bookstore owners who have found patches of old-fashioned success in recent years, competing where Amazon cannot: by being small and sleek, with personal service, intimate author events and a carefully chosen rotation of books.

In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Greenlight Bookstore opened in 2009 and reported sales of more than $1 million in its first year. The Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee was founded two years ago and has been profitable both years, its owner said.

For the sake of books and their industry, I hope that Patchett’s store succeeds. This may not be what she expected to do with her book earnings, but the people of Nashville will surely appreciate it.

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