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Innovation & Startups

Fleeting Pages takes back the neighborhood book store

Jodi Morrison, a self-described bibliophile, fondly recalls the independent book stores of her childhood. The publishing industry was her friend. Quite naturally she chafed when, upon returning home after school, she found many of her favorite places shuttered and dark.

Then Borders declared bankruptcy.

"I felt a mix of frustration with the publishing industry," she explains. "In my mind, this advent of ebooks and readers has to change."

In response, Morrison has launched an online campaign to send a clear message to corporations and big box book sellers, Fleeting Pages. The project will create pop-up book stores in the empty spaces, reclaiming not just the space but the disappearing culture of the neighborhood book store and independent publishers.  

This is my way to test the theory that the loss of brick-and-mortar book stores and independents matters to many people, she says. While still in the early planning stage, she hopes her first store will pop up in the empty Border's space in EastSide in East Liberty as soon as April 30th.

Her project is generating a buzz. With the blessing of an influential publishing friend, Richard Nash in Brooklyn of Cursor and Red Lemonade (he loved it), to the hundreds of emails that are flooding her inbox, Morrison believes she's touched a nerve and may be the first one to do so.

"My secret little fantasy is the idea that this happening will get people to make other ideas happen. Whether this really will impact the industry as a whole, I don't know. I just know it matters to me and this is my way of expressing it."

Everyone is welcome to help through the forum on Fleeting Pages: artists, independents, writers and readers. She is hoping to fill the 24,000 square feet with books, art, films, workshops and more. A Facebook page is coming soon.

"Let's test what's possible," she says.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jodi Morrison, Fleeting Pages


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