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The Book Beat - November 27, 2019

Although I will not be one of the super-shoppers hitting the stores on Friday, I wanted to post this week’s The Book Beat a few days early since I will most likely be in a tryptophan/stuffing coma come Friday (my mom makes excellent stuffing!).

Here are the “book” stories that caught my eye (and the one that frustrated me) this week!

Although They Be Small Bookstores, They Be Fierce

Last week I posted an article about printed books outselling eBooks and now I’m pleased to report that small bookstores are booming, too! I stand firmly on the side that there is room for everyone in the book world—libraries, eBooks, printed books, Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores, Little Free Libraries, etc. I love how we have so many places we can access books. As almost every novel with a down-on-her-luck female protagonist ever taught us, books and reading are a gateway to growth (and getting out from under the thumb of mean caretakers). So, while we read article upon article about how electronics and tablets are turning our kids into unemotional zombies, I remain hopeful that stories and stats like the ones related in this article are a sign of that not being true.

And a quick shout-out to the local small bookstores near me that I love. If you’re in the suburban Philadelphia, PA, area, check these out!

Wellington Square Bookshop, Exton, PA (

Reads and Company, Phoenixville, PA (

Baldwin Book Barn, West Chester, PA (

No Witty Headline, Just Frustration

Inmates in West Virginia are apparently going to be charged by-the-minute to read pubic-domain ebooks on tablets provided by an initiative between a corporation and certain WVA prisons (that’s in addition to having to pay to Skype/email, etc. with family). Based on a 2017 study, inmates in WV earn 4 to 58 cents per hour to do work while in prison. How will they get the money (unless a family member sends it to them)?

I could show my politics here and argue against the for-profit prison industry that nets corporations millions, but instead I will just say this: If prison is supposed to be about punishing prisoners but also rehabilitating them for re-entry into the non-prison world as a better-behaved, well-rounded individual, shouldn’t easy access to books (and the ideas in them) be a top priority?

The Movie Is Never Better Than the Book (But It Can Still Be Good!)

We are living in a Golden Age of Books Being Made Into Movies and TV Shows. And it is glorious! Are you the type to keep a calendar of when movies/shows based on books premiere? Well, you should be! Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of movies/shows based on books that will be released in 2020. The ones I’m most looking forward to? Little Fires Everywhere, Rebecca, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 2, Nine Perfect Strangers, and Brave New World.

Every Day Should Be Book Lovers Day

Not quite sure when’s it’s the day to high-five your librarian? This handy calendar features a year full of book-related holidays.

We Heart Libraries (and Librarians!)

This cute, illustrated article makes some great points about why libraries are terrific and a place of respite from the craziness and challenges of the world. Love the comics by Gemma Correll!

Cover of the Week: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Like the Mona Lisa, the girl in the painting on this cover has an expression that is unreadable. What is she thinking? What's her story?

She actually is Maeve, a character in the book, but I have no clue what she's thinking because this one is still on my TBR pile! This cover is gorgeous and was such a standout when I saw it on the shelves in the bookstore.

A little background info! Ann asked painter Noah Saterstrom to do a painting for this book. He speaks about it on his Instagram (@noahsats). He even has has a fun hashtag associated with seeing his painting in the wild. Follow #maevestraveljournal for this cover's adventures! Here's hoping this cover garners Noah the fame he deserves. It's stunning.

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