Today in Books

Wait, How Did This Woman “Accidentally” Buy a Bookstore?

Jeff O'Neal

CEO and co-founder

Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

Wait, How Did This Woman “Accidentally” Buy a Bookstore?

I got several tips about this TikTok where a woman named Jessica (I can’t find a last name at the moment) was basically handed the keys to a bookstore not too far from where I live in Portland. Apparently, she was a former employee of the Clackamas Book Exchange and the previous owner made her a deal–a deal which is a little hard to understand from the video. Apparently, if she made more than what the owner needed (don’t know what this means), the store would be hers. And now it is? If anyone out there knows more about this, would love to have you drop me an email at podcast at Turns 10

This was a good idea ten years ago and remains an important player in the book-selling ecosystem. The ebook/audiobook story is not a natural fit for indie bookstores: managing rights, tech, apps, DRM, etc is the stuff of platforms, not mom and pops. Ebooks are still a mess, though is gearing up to help indies there. has a good business, a good brand, and has always acted like a responsible middleman. It is a viable alternative to the tech behemoths and that is an ahchievement worth celebrating and supporting.

Winners of the 2024 Library Interior Design Awards

I don’t know a whole lot about interior design and though I live with an architect, I am no great expert there either. But I do love looking at photographs of fancy new libraries a the Library Interior Design Awards are a great place to browse places…where you can also browse I guess. The winner for public library over 30,000 square feet in Missoula looks a lot like the newish library in my hometown of Lawrence, KS, and I can say from first-had experience it is excellent. I also think the historic renovation at Western Kentucky university is brilliant--the library essentially adds the amenities and servies of a student union. As an undergraduate, this was something I thought would make a ton of sense if you had the chance. Looks like it works.

The Most Interesting People in the Publishing World

On the most recent episode of the Book Riot podcast, Rebecca Schinsky and I talk about the people in the publishing world doing the most interesting stuff. Publishers, editors, influencers, agents and more.

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