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The Spaces of Bookselling

Stores, Streets, and Pages

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2023

Kristen Doyle Highland
American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


The spaces of bookselling have as many stories to tell as do the books for sale. More than static backgrounds for bookselling, these dynamic spaces both shape individual and collective behaviors and perceptions and are shaped by the values and practices of booksellers and book buyers. This Element focuses primarily on bookselling in the United States from the 19th through the 21st centuries and examines three key bookselling spaces-the store, the street, and the catalogue. Following an introduction, the second section considers how the material space of bookstores shapes social engagement in and cultural values associated with the bookstore. The third section turns to itinerant and sidewalk booksellers and the ways in which they use the physical, social, and legal space of the street to craft geographies of belonging. And the final section pages through bookseller catalogues, examining them as a significant genre that works to spatialize the bookstore.
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Online ISBN: 9781108906500
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 09 March 2023

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