Book Reviews | March 2023 | Alex Johnson

The Spaces of Bookselling: Stores, Streets, and Pages

Cambridge University Press

The latest in the Cambridge University Press (CUP) series Elements in Publishing and Book Culture focuses on the bibliogeography of bookselling and is currently available as a free download.

In The Spaces of Bookselling: Stores, Streets, and Pages, author Kristen Doyle Highland, Assistant Professor of English at American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, explaining that it “explores the ways in which bookselling accumulates and creates layered meanings through its spatial contexts, including the built environment and design of stores, the social space and boundaries of the street, and amid the paratextual covers and lists in the bookseller’s catalogue.”

The book concentrates mainly on bookselling in the United States between the 19th and  21st centuries, looking at how the space of bookstores affects social engagement and cultural values.

Doyle Highland argues that although we tend to see bookselling as synonymous with bookstores, other areas and spaces (including itinerant and sidewalk booksellers) of the trade deserve more attention, in particular booksellers’ catalogues with chapters on Navigating Bookseller Catalogues and Catalogue Covers.

The Spaces of Bookselling is part of the ongoing The Cambridge Elements: Publishing and Book Culture series published by CUP, series editor Samantha Rayner, Professor of Publishing and Book Cultures at University College London.

Until March 10 the book is available as a free download, including illustrations, from the CUP site here.