Bookstores have impacted place culturally by being a source of knowledge, social contact, and local support. Marin facilitates in this exchange by bringing an extra ingredient to the table--the desire to recycle, reuse, and restore. Together, these ideas allow bookstores to bring a unique cultural experience to locals and visitors alike.
connecting through knowledge
Bookstores can be a wealth of knowledge. From providing useful seminars to providing events that increase one's awareness, bookstores are a hub of information. Each year speakers join together at Point Reyes Books for one of California's most exceptional literary festivals, the Geography of Hope Conference. It takes its name from Wallace Stegner's illustration of a wild landscape being a part of our own "geography of hope". These speakers include the country's most admired writers of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Together, they share an urgency for environmental reform, compassion for the well-being of the wild, and a fierce love for literature.
where book worms come to socialize
Over time, stores have had to expand their services from being a store primarily for books to being a go-to for events for local authors or book signings. Bookstores have created social events to allow book worms a chance to get their noses out of a novel and have a one-on-one experience with its author. By bringing readers and authors together, bookstores pave the way for social change through conversation.
Reading, a predominately independent activity, has been made a social event. Reading groups throughout Marin meet to not only read literature but discuss the morals and actions of the novel. Friends Books provides a service for children and early literacy students to read in a social environment. Copperfield's Books brings authors from across the country to their store in San Rafael to speak to eager locals about their ideas. Bookstores have created a culture of not only social interactions, but social change.
Marin locals behold the stereotype of being green-powered, recycle friendly, nature-lovers. This mind set continues when it comes to shopping. Supporting local business and small stores across the county is a trademark that Marin is proud of. Limiting the streets of big box stores and corporate companies allows for Marin to maintain its unique charm throughout time.
Due to Marin's sense of place centralized in local buying, bookstores have been able to thrive better than ever before. Independent stores have popped up all over the map within the last decade, providing a new place for locals to call home.
This idea that all should have a place at a friendly local bookstore has bled passed the borders of Marin to Nashville, TN. One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2012, Ann Patchett, played a leading role in opening Parnassus Books, Nashville's only local bookstore. By opening its doors, she has provided a wealth of information through literature while also showing her community that people and stores can have meaningful relationships.