I just love independent bookstores. I can't help but spend a lot of money every time I go into them. Why? Because I love to read. More than that, I love to handle books. I love the graphics on the cover. I love the blurbs on the back. I love it when the staff of a bookstore takes the time to write out a description of their favorite books and post them on little cards to share with the rest of us. I have been led to so many good books this way!
One of my favorite bookstores is in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Poisoned Pen. I get their email blasts, but, more importantly, every time I visit Scottsdale I make a conscious choice to visit them and come away with a stack of books to fill my suitcase with.
This morning I got the bookstore's newest email blast and it struck me how similar galleries are to independent book stores. Our industry is moving more and more to on-line sales. In fact, many galleries have closed their doors and operate solely from websites or through Amazon and other on-line stores.
I believe, like a good independent bookstore, there is no substitute for seeing the real thing at an art gallery. Hey, I'm not knocking on-line sales, I have come to depend on them. The challenge for galleries that have a physical space is how do we compete in and with the digital supermarket.
Here's what the owner of The Poisoned Pen wrote today:
Bookstores are repositories of ideas and imagination in
the form of books, things of deep emotional attachment to most people. While
you'd expect to be impressed in a well-curated boutique of useful or fanciful
goods, you should expect to be transported and moved to own (and be owned!) in
a well-curated indie bookstore. You don't get that in a warehouse or
I hope that the experience she describes applies to people who visit the Knowlton Gallery... or any good gallery.