A bookstore by its cover

Thumbnails of home pages

Although you can’t (shouldn’t?) judge a book by its title, we do. They are part of what Gerard Genette referred to as “paratext”, the “threshold … that offers the world at large the possibility of either stepping inside or turning back”; in effect, they are the front door. For e-commerce sites, the home page performs a similar function, inviting the site visitor to enter deeper into the site by clicking…

A Bookselling Timeline

The retail book business in the United States may have begun with John Dunton’s visit in 1685-86 where he is said to have sold a load of books to help cover some debts. He is said to have found the New England book buyers “‘smart’ customers and slow paymasters.”(Chambers 1832). This time line, however, concentrates on the 20th and 21st centuries for now. Chambers, R., 1832. The Book of Days:…