‘Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again’: Book Distribution in the Digital Age

Previous posts on this topic dealt with U.S. book distribution in its earliest iteration when books were shipped to America from Europe, then carried by itinerant foot- or horse-peddlers. Later the invention of steam-powered travel allowed faster shipment across the nation to all quadrants. This article deals with the modern era, ending a few years […]

‘Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again’: Book Distribution in the U.S., Part 3

As chronicled in my previous two posts (see January 15 and March 12 of this year), the book business has transitioned a great deal since the horseback peddler days of Parson Mason Weems. And yet, in some ways, the book trade is dealing with the same problems that have plagued it since its inception. The […]

‘Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again’: Book Distribution in the U.S., Part 2

The first installment on U.S. book distribution examined early methods for book sales and delivery, including traveling peddlers to rural areas and stationary peddlers in metropolises.  With the advent of steam-powered transportation, the book distribution network in the U.S. was about to undergo its first major shift. What follows is an introduction to the impact […]

‘Just Can’t Wait to Get on the Road Again’: Book Distribution in the U.S., Part I

When readers want to buy a book, where do they acquire it? New books can be purchased at big-box retailers like Target, Costco, or Walmart, at a chain bookstore like Barnes & Noble, at an independent bookseller, or online, likely at Amazon. Where individuals purchase books and why, has to do with cost, opportunity, or […]

Shuffling Off (with) Someone Else’s Mortal Coil: An Interview with Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

Five times five years I lived a virgin’s life Nine times five years I lived a virtuous wife; Wearied of this mortal life, I rest. — Headstone inscription, Mrs. Eunice Page, 1888 (Mann 177)  Yorick, one of the better known characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, only ever appears on stage as a skull. Andre Tchaikovsky, having […]