Seattle bookstores soar…

…and embrace an Old Nemesis: Amazon.com

Seattle ranks as the country’s second-most literate big city, behind Washington, D.C., as measured by things like the number of bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulation and education.

A love of books and bookstores runs deep in the sinews of Seattle,” Kirk Johnson writes in the New York Times, “where gray skies and drizzle can drive a person to drink, or read, or both. “

Amazon.com Inc. also calls Seattle home. And in recent years, as many small independent bookstores here and around the nation struggled or closed their doors, owners often placed blame for their plight on the giant online retailer’s success in delivering best sellers at discount prices, e-readers and other commodities of the digital marketplace.

“They seem to be after everyone and everything,” one Seattle-area bookstore owner, Roger Page, fulminated on his store’s blog last year. He added, “I believe there is a real chance that they will ruin the publishing world.”

But the world..well, Seattle, anyway… is a-changing…

Elliott BayAbbie Barronian, left, and Ellie Graves browsed at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. The store last year turned its first substantial profit in nearly 20 years. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

NissleyTom Nissley, who used to work for Amazon, recently bought a small bookstore in Seattle. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

Amazon/bookstores truce?

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Daily Routines

In the right hands, daily routines can be a finely calibrated mechanism for taking advantage of limited resources… a solid routine foster a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies…” Mason Currey, author of the inspiring book Daily Rituals

MozartCreated by RJ Andrews, infowetrust.com

Creative routines

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Top 10 Reasons to Participate in Indies First Storytime Day

Have you signed up for Indies First Storytime Day yet? Kate DiCamillo asks authors and illustrators at Bookweb.

Reason #3 is: You get to come in and read a story (a story that you didn’t write) out loud. The pressure is off. If the kids don’t like it, well … you didn’t write it!

Storytime

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The Author’s Promise – two things every writer should do

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, travelling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.‘ ~ Donna Tartt

The readerImage by Dixie Leota

I have read thousands of books, Amanda Patterson writes. Sometimes, I finish a book, and I think, ‘Wow! I loved that. I wonder what else the author’s written.’ Sometimes, I finish a book, and toss it aside with great force, and sometimes, I discard it without a second thought.

I have spent hours thinking about what makes me turn the page, pushing sleep away, determined to finish the story. I have spent just as much time thinking about what makes me want to throw the book away so that nobody else has to go through the literary torture I endured.

I believe it’s quite simple. I think I want to be entertained, and I want to learn something.

I do not want to endure a lecture. Show me the story and let me come to my own conclusions. I do not want my intelligence insulted with contrived literary manipulations, and obscure, incoherent writing. I am your reader, not your therapist. I also do not want to get lost in your unplotted stream of consciousness. I am not your editor.

An author’s duty

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One-Star Book Reviews

Reviews of classic books, culled from the internet’s think tank.

A Wrinkle in Time“Even if you read this book 500 times, it has always the same plot line.”

One-Star Book Reviews

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Quote of the Day

Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” ~ Agatha Christie

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Alma Alexander

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Comments welcome. What do you think?

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