Evan Friss The Bookshop

Saturday, September 14 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us for a book talk with Evan Friss, author of The Bookshop.

Join us for a book talk with Evan Friss, author of The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.

About the Book: Bookstores have always been unlike any other kind of store, shaping readers and writers, and influencing our tastes, thoughts, and politics. They nurture local communities while creating new ones of their own. Bookshops are powerful spaces, but they are also endangered ones. In The Bookshop, we see the stakes: what has been, and what might be lost.

Evan Friss’s history of the bookshop draws on oral histories, archival collections, municipal records, diaries, letters, and interviews with leading booksellers to offer a fascinating look at this institution beloved by so many. The story begins with Benjamin Franklin’s first bookstore in Philadelphia and takes us to a range of booksellers including the Strand, Chicago’s Marshall Field & Company, the Gotham Book Mart, specialty stores like Oscar Wilde and Drum and Spear, sidewalk sellers of used books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon Books, and Parnassus. The Bookshop is also a history of the leading figures in American bookselling, often impassioned eccentrics, and a history of how books have been marketed and sold over the course of more than two centuries—including, for example, a 3,000-pound elephant who signed books at Marshall Field’s in 1944.

The Bookshop is a love letter to bookstores, a charming chronicle for anyone who cherishes these sanctuaries of literature, and essential reading to understand how these vital institutions have shaped American life—and why we still need them.

About the Author: Evan Friss is a professor of history at James Madison University and the author of two other books: The Cycling City: Bicycles and Urban America in the 1890s and On Bicycles: A 200-Year History of Cycling in New York City. He lives with his wife (a bookseller) and two children (occasional booksellers) in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The Bookshop will be released on August 6. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.

"It is a delight to wander through the bookstores of American history in this warm, generous book."

—Emma Straub

New Dominion Bookshop Book Order Form

Shop local and support your community bookstore! Order books from New Dominion Bookshop by filling out the contact form below. Please make sure that you list the book title(s) that you would like to order. We will give you a call when your order is ready. If you are placing a pre-order for a book that has not yet been released, your book will be ready on or soon after the book’s release date. There is no need to pre-pay. We will collect your payment when you pick up your order or when your order is shipped. If you would like your book(s) to be signed and/or inscribed, please include that information in the “Message for Our Booksellers” field.

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