I am the owner of Paper Town Books. Yup, I am. My intent was to open up a brick and mortar shop in Austin, TX (still is eventually - read further and I’ll explain). I even announced this on Word Painting some time ago (back in May of 2012). Since then I’ve discovered a lot of things:
First, small businesses are not catered to in this country. In fact, it is extremely difficult to get a small brick and mortar business opened in the U.S. (there is a lot of red tape and a lot of money involved).
Second, in the state of Texas (where I reside), in order for a business to get a bank loan, that business has to have had its doors open for two years and made a profit before a bank will even consider giving it a loan. This usually means anyone who wants to open a business must use their own money, their own credit cards or loans that they are able to get personally. This is not easy for everyone.
My conclusion? Start online then move to brick and mortar. So, for the last two years, this is exactly what I did, I built a website, collected tens of thousands of books, and generated a small amount of preliminary interest. The end result is about to be launched—Paper Town Books.
Here is what I intend to do with Paper Town Books.
1. Provide good quality/condition second hand books, collectible editions (like first editions, signed copies, etc.), some rare/antiquarian books, and your everyday run of the mill books (fiction and non-fiction) and other items such as graphic novels, etc.
2. Offer these books at a very reasonable price to help us poor book readers/collectors actually save money. Most of the common titles will be priced at 50% off the cover price or lower.
3. Move to a brick and mortar location within two years of the launch of the website. I prefer local brick and mortar stores, especially bookstores. That is my goal—get a physical location (and keep the website).
So, if you are a book reader, collector and/or lover of books your support of this venture is truly coveted. By supporting Paper Town Books you will be supporting a local bookstore (even though our location is currently online).
I do value your opinions and comments So, what you think?
Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.
Read. As much as you can. As deeply and widely and nourishingly and irritatingly as you can. And the good things will make you remember them, so you won’t need to take notes.
I’ve never understood the desire for books with matched bindings. You don’t go through life looking for sets of matched people, and books are just as individual.
The book can produce an addiction as fierce as heroin or nicotine, forcing us to spend much of our lives, like junkies, in book shops and libraries, those literary counterparts to the opium den.
I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn’t want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn’t realize then that it’s the same impulse. It’s make-believe. It’s performance. The only difference being that a writer can do it all alone. I was struck a few years ago when a friend of ours—an actress—was having dinner here with us and a couple of other writers. It suddenly occurred to me that she was the only person in the room who couldn’t plan what she was going to do. She had to wait for someone to ask her, which is a strange way to live.
I had never known the pleasure of reading, of exploring the recesses of the soul, of letting myself be carried away by imagination, beauty, and the mystery of fiction and language. For me all those things were born with that novel.