I was saddened to see, in a publishing industry news email this morning, that the wonderful independent bookstore Cody’s is closing its last store in the East Bay. They’ll be opening a smaller, more focused location near the Berkeley BART. Cody’s is an East Bay institution, and one of the premier independent bookstores in the country. This is not good news for the life of our minds.
And so, in self-defense, I hereby promote the wonderful Tournament of Books, sponsored by the equally wonderful Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR. Powell’s is another legend in the independent bookselling world, and the Tournament of Books (aka ToB) is a battle-of-the-bands type event, with a list of recent novels pitted against each other in brackets that are then pitted against each other, and so on and so on, until only one book is left. All judges are named, all biases are proclaimed. And Powell’s is giving 30% off all the books on the list, so you can follow along and place your bets.
E-books are wonderful, online document sharing is great, but in the interests of cultivating a diverse, lively, healthy, even thriving world of independent booksellers and publishers, go buy a book from your local bookstore today.