Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are San Franciscans really illiterate?

A certain online retailer released its list of America's top 20 well-read cities. Congratulations, San Francisco, you are NOT on the list.

What gives?

The certain online retailer used a curious statistical method to decide which cities were most well-read: their sales of books to these communities. By that logic, the inner Richmond is the leading reading neighborhood in the world, because that's where Green Apple sold the
most books.

Which is why Green Apple is so proud (and not surprised) that San Francisco is not on that list. Clearly San Franciscans recognize the value of shopping at locally owned independent stores. They support stores that collect and remit sales tax to California, that donate to local school fundraisers, that are owned by people who live and work and parent in San Francisco. They prefer interacting with other human beings when looking for something to read. They trust our personal recommendations instead of an algorithm.

Or maybe they're just illiterate.

But last we checked, San Francisco was pretty highly ranked in book (and booze) consumption by a slightly more reliable group of statisticians: the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For example, this recent study shows spending on reading in SF was 50% higher than the national average.

Cheers, San Francisco! And thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two new kids books we love

As the parent of boy-girl twins who just turned five, and as a reader, and as the owner of a bookstore, I can tell you that there are two kinds of books for kids that are sadly uncommon:

1) The innovative. Well, there are innovative books, like Gallop! But an innovative book that 5 year-olds love, that's rare. To that end, we are pleased to be selling copy after copy of Press Here by Herve Tullet (Chronicle Books, $14.99). It's a big hit at our preschool: an interactive book of a magical sort. You just have to come in to see it.

2) The truly funny. And I mean funny for the kids and for the grown-up reading it. We just received our first batch of Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael Kaplan and Stephane Jorisch (Dial Books, $16.99). When Betty Bunny discovers chocolate cake for the first time, she decides she loves it so much, she's going to marry it. Instead, she makes do with carrying it to school in her pocket. We love Betty Bunny.