(Jackson Street) Books on 7th is around the corner and on the internet tubes. We strive to be your full-service new and used bookstore, emphasizing good literature, progressive politics, and, of course, books about baseball. Opened in Hoquiam October 1, 2010

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tough times for some of Seattle's independent bookstores

MaryAnne Gwinn had contacted Dan a while back about why we closed Jackson Street Books for her article about recent departures of other bookstores. It ran today.

We're glad she mentioned Toure Apparel. Maybe that parking lot will get some attention now.


Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Good piece, but annoying that they only mentioned Dan as the "owner," singular. Also, the irony of the success of Mystery compared to the loss of Jackson Street was not lost on me. Did she know of the relation between the stores or was she just being anecdotal?

Hate to see small businesses being splattered by the corporate monstrosities and the apathetic consumers. And, unfortunately, in the current "culture," books are considered a "luxury item," instead of a necessity for life. EnviroStomper SUVs are "necessary," but books are too expensive. Nice priorities, eh? People don't mind laying out a hundred bucks a month for satellite TV, but they won't bother to go to a library or bookstore for literate fare.

I dunno what I'd do if it weren't for the stockpiles of wonderful books that y'all have gifted me with throughout my multiple surgeries, and yes, I'm still hacking-away at it! Although I gotta ask y'all about this one dissertation...

Currently in blackout #4 of the day, with no a/c (can you hear my fluid-filling lungs hacking from there?), but somehow, my p.o.s. Sony battery in my ancient Toshiba laptop is still funneling power into itself. Biz-fucking-zarre. Usually can't turn it on without a/c-current (like my other favorite appliances), but today, it's magically functional. Go figure. BTW, DEMCO SUCKKKKKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! Just my own little personal editorial there.

At any rate, Seattle is ig'nernt as a mofo if they don't know what they've lost with y'all. A pox upon that slumlord and all of his pinhead/fucktard progeny!!!

Aaron Kinney said...


Would you support a property tax increase for houses in Washington State so that we could buy more books for public libraries?

Aaron Kinney said...

At Jesus General, Dan replied to me that he does theoretically support increased property taxes for an increased book supply at libraries. I responded to Dan thusly:

"Hi Dan, thanx for the response :)

So you are in favor of increasing property taxes (a contributing factor to the closing of your bookstore) in order to support increased library book supplies (which are also a threat to the profitability of your privately run bookstore).

Well I, for one, would rather see property taxes diminished in favor of allowing small businesses such as yours to keep their balance sheet out of the red. I understand that taxes werent the only factor in the closing of your store, but nonetheless it is clear that taxes hurt the smaller, more personal and intimate businesses such as your bookstore.

I hope your new store gets open soon and gets lots of business! :-) "

Hypatia Rising said...

It is sad indeed, that we are losing our small independent bookstores. The difference between the small independents and the Mega Biblios is heart, character and community. These attributes flowed so evidently at the close of the brick-and-mortar Jackson Streets Books store late this spring. I had the pleasure of being part of the party through Jackson Street Books Second Life incarnation in the 3d virtual environment. Dan and Tammy set up a computer in the store so their friends and customers could interact with those of us around the world who also hold Jackson Street books close to our hearts.

How can a small independent bookstore have supporters from the Netherlands to Japan and New Zealand? It is precisely that same heart, character and community that made them such a gift to their Seattle Central District neighborhood. I teach technology at a School of Education in a university on the Great Plains and here is my Jackson Street Books story:

Our student Association for Educational Communication and Technology had chosen to do an online public service project to help bring books to the Lone Man School on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This community has an average income for a family of four under $17,000 per year. Many of the students are considered homeless due to substandard housing, and while rich in the preservation of their Lakota language, all students are considered to be second-language English learners. This school had a librarian with no books. When she came back this fall, she had a library!

The students solicited donations through an attempt at viral email, Facebook, electronic kiosks and other more traditional means, but by far, it was Jackson Street Books and their community in Second Life, which includes Daily Kos Bloggers, that made the library possible! The first donation was $100 dollars from Saskatchewan, Canada, but I will tell you Dan and Tammy donated many books themselves! I would receive an email, “I sent out nine more boxes today.” Then she would wait the weeks it took for the mail delivery to Oglala.

So while the folks in Seattle’s Central District lost an important window to the world of books, a small community of children half way across the continent had a door opened for them. The Mega Biblios will not likely move into the Central District, and they will never be in Oglala, SD. These children will be the last to have Internet in their homes, and families will make the necessary choice to feed the body before the mind.

Jackson Street Books is not gone. It is still making a big impact in the virtual world and in the very real world. It will likely reincarnate in brick and mortar to serve the tourists who will browse for a good read as they watch the waves of Hoquiam, but the children of the Central District and Oglala, places far from the malls, that will depend on the independent bookstores.

With thanks,
Hypatia Rising

Toure Apparel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toure Apparel said...

It was unfortunate to see the Jackson St bookstore go last year. This was a wonderful resource for the community. Recently, I was doing a little marketing and testing some theories about our business and a story came up, interesting article in the Seattle PI (August 24th, 2008 Tough times for some Seattle independent bookstores)referring to the Jackson St bookstore closing.
I was left in awe and thought to myself, did they really stop and asses the area FIRST before they invested money into a second unsuccessful location? Did they ever turn a profit at either location? As I recall, personally being told shortly after they moved in (from Tammy herself),"there is no way we could be in this business if I did not work a full time job".
In the article it stated,"...a hip-hop apparel store that moved next door, attracting gangs and wannabes, customers were intimidated"
Unfortunately, if your facts were accurate Toure Apparel was a tenant before the book store and the "gangs and wannabees" were also.
A couple nights ago, I was watching the City Council discuss issues in King County, GANGS were at the top of the discussion. One of the lead investigators stated, "The children often come from long lines of gang families 2, 3, and sometime even 4 generations. They have been fighting about the same issues for many years and now some of the gang members do not even know why there is tension between their rival."
The violence in the CD is not something that Toure Apparel has created, attracted nor does Toure Apparel allow any such behavior IN or around their business. The parking lot is not something that Toure Apparel can control. The Promenade has hired security to monitor these areas.
Again, I think it is unfortunate that Jackson Books was unable to successfully operate their business in TWO locations. However, I strongly believe that instead of standing outside your business CHAIN SMOKING-Maybe it would have been more productive to spend that time MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS!
Best of luck....