Novato, a city with no bookstores

Novato, a city with no bookstores

There are 44 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Aug 29, 2009, titled Novato, a city with no bookstores. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

Leigh Blair has heard stories about the people in metropolitan Portland who flock to the famous Powell's Books for marathon page-turning sessions on their days off from work.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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Melody J

Brisbane, CA

#1 Aug 30, 2009
For me, The Book Place more than makes up for not having a retailer of new books in Novato. Not that there isn't room for such an establishment (I'd welcome it) but nothing beats walking into a used bookstore where I can actually leave with a bag full of my favorite things in the world (books), having spent under $20. Their 25-cent to $2.00 prices are normally only found in thrift shops and at rummage sales. So while I'd love a [insert new bookseller] to browse shiny covers and linger over a cup of tea, I would rarely make any purchases...unless, of course, it had a used section (hint, hint).

Santa Maria, CA

#2 Aug 30, 2009
What's the point of book stores? The average American, including most Marinites, haven't read
anything technical, or substantial since they
got their degree. "If I can't read it on my Ipod,
or depend on Drudge to inform me--I can't be bothered." How many of you have actually read Obama's health care bill--completely? We have become fat, uninformed, pathetic pawns. It's
beyond embarrassing. We are being manipulated
by big business(Pharmaceutical, credit industry,
lawyers, blah, blah, etc.). Our representatives know we have the attention span of Nats--and deservedly treat us as such. "My X-box smell funny, I guess I have to use my Wii." Oh, by the way, Harry Potter, and fashion magazines don't count. God help us! Really-and I'm not using
the lords name in vane. I'm dead serious.
Get it done


#3 Aug 30, 2009


NOVATO CITY HALL. Five million dollars ($5,000,000) of city money spent on this building. Clear coat redwood siding for the annex building which is going to be painted ?. The City could have saved the bell and tower and built a building twice the size for half the price !!!!

NOVATO THEATRE. Eighteen (18) years the building has been vacant with payments of $3,000 per month to the seller; $10,000 for appraisals; $72,720 for architectural services; $6,500 for engineering services; and $36,750 for legal services. These costs do not include staff time. At the direction of the City Council on July 28, four people explained to the Council their plan for the theatre. Not one of them provided the Council with the required financial statement; one person stated he has never seen the inside of the theatre building; another stated she has not been inside the building in four years. The City Council wasted 2 hours and 6 minutes on their proposal (and remember the city attorney gets paid by the hour to sit at these meetings !). I ask why was this matter left on the agenda when the applicants’ packets were ruled incomplete by staff ? The theatre will never open if we don't change the direction of the last 18 years ! Are we going to take the same direction with the (closed) community house or allow the City to continue paying $67,500 per month rent at 200 Rowland Way ?

TRAIN STATION: This council recommended to the “Smart Board” locate the train stop two blocks north of the Atherton Avenue exit. Does this promote downtown Novato? If a group of citizens come to Novato from Healdsburg, how will they get downtown? I have two contractors who will work for free to clean out the old railroad site leaving its historic building and form up a mini platform for Holiday and weekend stops for the Smart train and the wine train ! Just common sense folks !
MEDIAN STRIPS. The City has cut the maintenance staff to save money!. Every time I see the City’s dump truck with one person driving, I ask,“Why did they buy a double cab dump truck with four seats ?” My answer is there are plenty of people in this county who need to do community service hours and Novato can take charge by filling all four seats in that double cab truck and weedwack, spray and clean the median strips (for starters !).
WHOLE FOODS. What a great store to bring to Novato but in my opinion the store should have been built on Redwood Boulevard close to downtown. The people who are now renting the 124 condos can enter their parking spaces from De Long Avenue. If you want to park for Whole Foods you must enter their garage on Scott Court. One entrance and one exit? This was a joke on our City Council Look at Trader Joe's and the parking lot pattern. Yes folks, two entrances and exits. I say the corner of Reichert and Grant Avenue will be the new road-rage capital of Novato.

YOUR VOTE IN THIS ELECTION. I say to you - the voter – if you have a favorite candidate that you are going to vote for, remember that you have two (2) votes in this election! Think of direction and common sense for Novato and give that second vote to JOHN COLEMAN -- the man who will fight for you and the only candidate who will not take endorsements or monies from anyone because he does not want to owe anyone any favors !!!!

Thank You

John Coleman

thats it

Novato, CA

#4 Aug 30, 2009
Use the Library. whole country going down in flames and this is news.your right Danonad "nats"
thats it

Novato, CA

#5 Aug 30, 2009
Use your library.The whole country falling apart and somehow this is news.

Petaluma, CA

#7 Aug 30, 2009
One of my favorite things about living in downtown Petaluma is walking down to copperfields in the evening to read, mingle, explore. I hope a book store will make Novato it's home because it is an incredible asset to any community.

United States

#8 Aug 30, 2009
I love Copperfields, it has an incredibly comfortable feeling when I go there. Its more than a bookstore, go check it out, and then lets see if we can get them to open up a store here, with a used book section too!
Dr HK Sachwady

Mill Valley, CA

#9 Aug 30, 2009
It's interesting to note that attendance to the weekly Novato cross burnings have never been higher.

United States

#10 Aug 30, 2009
Above the fold news at that.

San Francisco, CA

#11 Aug 30, 2009
Book Passage please come to Novato!!

El Cerrito, CA

#12 Aug 30, 2009
Novato is a backward area anyway. All that is really there are military types who do whatever their told. The booksellers already know what you refuse to admit here in this article; there is simply no value in having a bookstore in a town of illiterates. Barnes & Noble, et. al.,..would already be there. Novato is closing education down as well. So forget the future of reading in that town. Novato is a satellite town for losers in Marin. Why be there at all?

United States

#13 Aug 30, 2009
Get it done wrote:
Is anyone other than John Coleman.

Your first post on a Novato related story was interesting. Your long rambling diatribes have become such a total bore they aren't even funny anymorme. This is not the place for your free publicity. However your ramblings and constantly sticking yourself like a bad Shakespearean character into anything remotely Novato related is an incredible turn off.

Join the vote for anyone BUT this idiot campaign.

Novato, CA

#14 Aug 30, 2009
I would love to see a book store in Novato. Downtown has become a destination with no parking. Maybe some of the 100 or so units at Millworks can be converted to accommadate book sales and downtown parking. Who knows if we have people reading books maybe the City wont put sidewalks in the middle of the street with no markings like the one along 4th or 5th St and Vallejo Ave. Good way to slow the traffic but tough on car front ends!! The lastest street improvements in front of San Ramon School will also make for interesting times when anyone with a vehicle larger than a VW Bug trys to negotiate the obstacle course when picking up children. Hopefully Novato's finest will be there to ticket.

Vacaville, CA

#15 Aug 30, 2009
Old-style bookstores are going the way of the buggywhip. Rents are too high, sales are too low, and digital competition is virtually impossible to overcome. The only owners of small bookstores are hobbyists with tons of money who like the lifestyle but don't really need the money.

As for the notion that bookstores represent 'intellectual life in the community', that may not be true any longer. Certainly a number of 'customers' sitting around in easy chairs in bookstores browing through some books or magazines plucked from shelves, but never talking to each other, hardly represents 'intellection life'. It represents a bunch of people hanging out. People don't speak to each other in bookstores because of the 'library effect' that informs us that quiet is the order of the day. Bookstores are not necessarily a place for socializing unless they also have a cafe.

The increasing presence & use of ebook readers like the Kindle will eat away at the advantage actual books have in everyday use. These electronic readers will only improve, matching the physical advantage of books while providing significant very helpful features that digital can offer.

I, too, love being in good bookstores with comfortable surroundings, but I recognize that they are disappearing for the same reason that manufacturing and many white-collar jobs have disappeared in the United States--they can be done cheaper in other ways, in other places.

Santa Cruz, CA

#16 Aug 30, 2009
Large swaft of typical ignorant statements in the "comments" section as usual. To the story, if there is need for a bookstore, then someone can come in and fill it and open their business. You roll your own dice. Truth is the economy segment has changed and I suspect some people have romantic notions of the 'ole bookstore. People are reading, but they are sourcing there materials differently and don't idle at bookstores as much as before. However adding a coffee store, anchor other retails to the area, etc. may be different - but it is a struggling brick and morter form of business, regular loiterers have been found not to really spend well. And let's not forget we all pay and have LIBRARIES people.

Napa, CA

#17 Aug 30, 2009
Umm, go to the library.
Ya Right

Pacifica, CA

#18 Aug 30, 2009
People talk a good game about wanting a bookstore. However, wanting and supporting an independent bookstore are two different things. Look up the PBS documentary "Paperback Dreams". You might learn a thing or two about what happened to some of the Bay Area's best independent stores and the retail book market itself.

Oh and just a thought, we are soon to be having the same conversation about printed newspapers and magazines as the Internet swallows more of the market.

Bangkok, Thailand

#19 Aug 30, 2009
that is one long a.s.s. story about a town with no bookstore . . . . . maybe a good place to open one, of course if the people just hang out and read w/o buying maybe that is why there is no bookstore there . . . . .

Morgan Hill, CA

#20 Aug 30, 2009
Vintage Oaks once had Crown Books - but I loathed it as it just had the feeling of corporatism, unlike independent book stores like The Book Passage. Now folks who shop for books will go to Costco or Target... but more so, I buy on Amazon.

I would LOVE for the Book Passage to find a spot in Novato.
Novato Native

San Jose, CA

#21 Aug 30, 2009
No business would want to come to Novato. The planning commission makes it nearly impossible to get started, and with bookstores, the margins are low. Only a few communities have bookstores. Borders is losing money. Why would someone want to lose money in Novato?

Look what they did to Frank's BBQ.

Sad. Novato is becoming an EX-City.

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