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Harvard Grad Launches Minimalist Book Store

Businesswoman puts fresh spin on a classic institution

 

Kathryn Graham is changing the way we experience book stores. A Harvard Business School grad and former proprietor of famed feminist NYC bookstore Bluestockings, Graham has opened a new San Francisco store quite different than the par-for-the-course overstuffed model we are all familiar with.

 

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Image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

 

The Massachusetts transplant was motivated to open the store, called Black Bird, after witnessing the success of Amazon at drawing in customers interested in specific titles or authors.  “The model of 50,000 titles is just not current,”  she claimed. Indeed, much like the display method used in Amazon’s new brick-and-mortar bookstores, Black Bird only displays 250 books recommended by Graham and her 6-person staff, complete with handwritten notes and covers facing out. “It’s a different experience and always will be,” she said, “But everybody finds something.”

 

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Image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

 

Graham views her little store, in part, as a response to the current political climate, with frequently updated sections dedicated to the environment and American culture. “Perhaps I am also hoping to find the answer to the question of how we got here in this Trump era,” she stated. Not everything in there is topical, however; a mother of 3, Graham has dedicated half of Black Bird’s space to children’s literature.

 

Featured Image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle