Ann Patchett

  • Aired:  02/20/12
  •  | Views: 22,797

Novelist Ann Patchett discusses the importance of brick-and-mortar bookstores and explains what prompted her to open Parnassus Books in Nashville. (5:51)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, AN AWE THR

WHO IS WORKING TO SAVE

INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES.

INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES, I

SHOULD BUY ONE OF THOSE ON

AMAZON.

PLEASE WELCOME ANN PATCHETT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

HEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

COMING ON.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: FIRST LET'S TELL

THE PEOPLE OUT THERE YOU ARE

RATHER IMPRESSIVE CV.

>> PLEASE.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU THE

AUTHOR OF BATT FICTION AND

NONFICTION, INCLUDING VAL

CONTO, STATE OF WONDER, THE

PATIENT SAINT OF WIRES.

YOU WON THE PENN FAULKNER

AWARD FOR VAL CONTO THIS IS

THE SCANDALOUS PART.

YOU ARE THE CO-OWNER OF

PARNASSUS BOOKS IN NASHVILLE,

TENNESSEE.

YOU OPENED THIS UP WIDE.

WHY WOULD A WRITER OPEN A

BOOK STORE.

THAT IS LIKE A RODEO RIDER

OPENING A BUTCHER SHOP.

WHY WOULD YOU, WHY WOULD YOU

DO THAT.

>> BECAUSE THEN I GET THE

ROYALTIES PLUS WHAT I MAKE

AT THE BOOK STORE.

>> Stephen: SO IT'S ALL

ABOUT THE SCRATCH FOR YOU.

>> NO, BECAUSE BOTH OF OUR

BOOK STORES IN NASHVILLE

CLOSED.

WE HAD TWO HUGE BOOK STORES,

BOTH OVER 30,000 SQUARE FEET,

ONE AN INDEPENDENT, ONE A

BORDERS.

THEY BOTH CLOSED.

SUDDENLY I'M LIVING IN A

TOWN WITH NO BOOK STORE.

MY BOOK COMES OUT,

EVERYBODY'S CALLING ME,

WHERE I:I WOULD I YOUR BOOK,

THEY HAD TO GO TO THE ALTARATION

SHOP TO BUY MY BOOK.

>> Stephen: THE ALTERATION

SHOP.

>> THEY OFFERED TO SELL IT

FOR ME.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

>> TRULY.

>> Stephen: YOU PUT A HEM IN

YOUR DRESS AND ALSO GET A

COPY.

>> YOU COULD GO TO STITCH IT,

HAVE YOUR PANTS ALTERnd AND

GET A SIGNED COPY OF STATE

OF WONDER.

>> Stephen: STITCH IT DOES

GOOD WORK.

>> I LOVE THEM.

>> Stephen: WHY OPEN A BOOK

STORE BECAUSE THE MARKET HAS

SPOKEN, THERE WAS NO MARKET

IN YOUR TOWN FOR A BOOK

STORE.

YOU CAN GO TO AMAZON.

>> NO, THERE WAS.

BOTH OF THOSE BOOKS WERE

PROFITABLE.

BOTH OF THOSE STORES WERE

PROFITABLE.

EVERY MONTH THEY WERE OPEN.

THEY CLOSED AT CORPORATE

LEVEL.

SO THEY HAD LARGER ISSUES.

BUT NASHVILLIANS, WE ARE

GOOD BOOK-BUYING, SMART

TOWN.

WE WERE GOING IN AND FILLING

UP MORE THAN 60,000 SQUARE

FEET OF BOOK BUYING NEED

EVERY MONTH.

THEY CLOSED, AND WE ARE A

LITTLE STORE.

2500 SQUARE FEET.

>> Stephen: HAVEN'T WE

ALREADY HAD THIS BATTLE.

IN THE MOVIE YOU'VE GOT

MAIL.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> I'M MEG RYAN.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE MEG RAY

AN IN THIS.

>> I KNOW.

>> Stephen: AND JEFF BEZOS

OF AMAZON IS TOM HANKS.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: AND IN THAT TOM

HANKS CRUSHES MEG RYAN AND

THEN SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH

HIM.

>> THAT WAS THE 80s.

THIS SI A WHOLE NEWERA.

WE'VE HAD THE CYCLE.

LITTLE BOOK STORES AS WELL T

GETS BIGGER.

CRUSHED BY THE SUPERSTORE,

BARNES & NOBLE BORDERS

CHAINS THEY WERE THEN

CRUSHED BY AMAZON AND NOW

WE'VE CYCLED BACK.

SUDDENLY PEOPLE ARE WAKE UP

AND GOING BUT I WANT TO HAVE

SOMEPLACE TO TAKE MAY KIDS

FOR STORY HOUR ON SATURDAY.

I WANT TO HAVE SOMEPLACE TO

GO TO BOOK CLUB AND SEE AN

AUTHOR READ.

SO THE BOOK STORE IS GONE

BUT THEY MISS IT.

THIS IS THE TALE OF

REDEMPTION.

>> Stephen: IT IS?

>> IT IS.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: IT COULD BE A

GOOD BOOK.

>> YES, ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: A BOOK.

>> I'LL WRITE IT.

>> Stephen: A BOOK ABOUT

SAVING A BOOK STORE MIGHT

EAT ITSELF.

NOW STORY TIME, BOOK CLUB

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT I

CAN GET FROM A LOCAL BOOK

STORE THAT I AM NOT GETTING

FROM SHOPPING ON-LINE.

>> SMART PEOPLE.

WE'VE GOT-- .

>> Stephen: HEY, HEY, WHAT

ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT.

THE INTERNET IS FULL OF

SMART PEOPLE.

>> I MEAN ONES THAT YOU CAN

GO IN AND TALK TO.

WE HAVE SO MANY SMART PEOPLE

WORKING IN OUR STORE.

YOU COME IN, YOU TELL ME

WHAT YOU JUST READ WHAT YOU

LIKED, I WILL TELL YOU WHAT

YOU SHOULD READ NEXT.

>> Stephen: NO, THEY ALREADY

HAVE THAT.

THEY ALREADY HAVE THAT.

>> NO, NO, NO.

>> Stephen: PEOPLE WHO

BOUGHT THIS BOOK ALSO BOUGHT

A SOCKET WRENCH SET.

ONE OF THE RARE KINDS WHEN I

READ BOOKS IT IS SO ESCAPE

SO I DON'T HAVE TO TALK TO

PEOPLE.

>> RIGHT, BUT IF YOU NEVER,

EVER TALK TO PEOPLE AND YOU

MEET ALL OF YOUR NEEDS ON

THE INTERNET YOU WAKE UP ONE

DAY AND YOU ARE THE UNA BOMB

EVER-- BOMBER.

>> Stephen: THAT SAY STRONG

ARGUMENT.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: BUT YOU

UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE A

BOOK, I HAVE A COUPLE BOOKS

COMING OUT THIS YEAR.

AND I CAN'T AGREE WITH YOU.

BECAUSE JEFF BEZOS AT AMAZON

IS A VIN DICTIVE MAN.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: HE CLUBBED THE

OWNER OF BORDERS TO DEATH.

>> JUST LIKE A BABY SEAL ON

THE ICE FLOE.

>> Stephen: HE DID.

I DID.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: AND THE GUY FROM

BARNES & NOBLE HE SLASHED

HIS TIRES.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: AREN'T YOU

AFRAID.

YOU'RE AN AUTHOR.

IF YOU TRASH TALK THESE

ON-LINE PEOPLE AREN'T YOU

AFRAID THEY ARE NOT GOING TO

SELL YOUR BOOK.

>> MI SO BENEATH THEIR

NOTICE.

I AM NOT A PEBBLE IN THEIR

SHOE.

>> Stephen: OF COURSE YOU

ARE, YOU ARE ON "THE COLBERT

REPORT."

ARE YOU GETTING THE COLBERT

BUMP.

RIGHT NOW, OKAY.

HERE'S THE BOOK, STATE OF

WONDER.

STATE OF WONDER.

I WANT THIS TO REGISTER ON

AMAZON TOMORROW, OKAY?

WE'RE BUMPING THIS RIGHT NOW.

>> --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: NO I JUST WON.

>> I WANTED TO REGISTER AT

PARNASSUS BOOK.NET WHERE IF

YOU BUY STATE OF WONDER YOU

CAN GET IT SIGNED.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> NOW LISTEN THIS IS WHAT I

WANT FROM YOU.

YOUR BOOK COMES OUT, I WANT

TO YOU COME TO NASHVILLE.

YOU CAN SEE YOUR FRINLDS,

JACK WHITE, AL GORE, WE'LL

HAVE A PARTY FOR YOU.

>> Stephen: ALL VERY GOOD

BUDDIES.

WE'LL GO TO PATTERSON HOUSE.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: HAVE A COCKTAIL.

>> WE'LL GET THE GOAT RODEO

GUYS TO COME AND PLAY AT

YOUR STORE AS A WARMUP.

WILL YOU SIGN.

WILL YOU HAVE SUCH A GREAT

TIME.

THEN THE NEXT WEAK WILL YOU

TAKE YOUR SHARPIE, WILL YOU

GO TO THE WAREHOUSE AT

AMAZON, THEY WILL CUT THE

BOXES OPEN FOR YOU.

YOU CAN SIGN ALL DAY.

YOU SEE WHICH ONE YOU LIKE

BETTER.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU FOR

JOINING US.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: ANN'S LATEST

BOOK IS STATE OF WONDER, AS

I SAID, GO PICK IT UP AT

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