: views from the Hill

Friday, February 03, 2006

Book Passage above the fold ... a Davey and Goliath story

Last week a friend from the least coast sent me an article from Publishers Weekly detailing the Davey and Goliath story unfolding up in Corte Madera.

Barnes & Noble announced on January 25th that it will be moving from Greenbrae to Corte Madera, expanding to a space three times larger than its current space, and moving in just down the street from Book Passage, one of the best independent bookstores around.

"I'm sure you've heard of this but just in case..." she said.

I hadn't heard. I checked the Chronicle to see if I'd somehow missed the kerfuffle, but no word.

I shot a note off to Jon Carroll and told him he needed to cover the story or light a fire under someone at the Chron who could. Less than half an hour later, he sent a note back. "Done!" he said.

That was Thursday. On Friday there was naught in the Chron, but my note to Carroll had been after lunch on Thursday and I was sure he'd probably spiked Friday's column long before that. No words in the Chronicle over the weekend.

Well? asked my friend.

I had to tell her that Carroll's Monday column covered geese poop at Lake Merritt.

"Oh, I see...they're waiting until the big stories die down..." she said.

Day ... by ... day ... nothing.

And then today, FINALLY above the fold in the Business section, was the start of a multipage article.

With pics.

A serious tale of survival
Book Passage is battling giant Barnes & Noble -- again

Pia Sarkar, Chronicle Staff Writer

The Citizens Concerned about Strengthening Independent Bookstores (CCSIB) has put together a very untidy Web site to garner support for Book Passage and spur local action to stop the shopping center managers from leasing the space in question to B&N. Trundle through the site. Loads of information there if you can get past the colors and fonts and CAPS.

This bit, though, should give you a feel for the uproar across the Bridge from here.

Council meeting Tuesday night. Book huggers are e-mailing concerns to the folks listed on the site. More actions are planned.

Davey killed Goliath with a stone and slingshot. There's hope yet.

No comments: