Today the Chapel Hill herald ran yet another gushing story about Branch’s Bookstore in Chapel Hill, continuing their pointed avoidance of the fact of Internationalist’s very existence! In the caption for the adorable photo of Kate Branch (here, today only) it said “…Branch’s Chapel Hill Bookshop, which is Chapel Hill’s only independent bookstore.”
The first time the Herald made this mistake (about a year ago, when Branch’s opened), I thought they were just stupid, but now it appears they are willfully trying to promote Branch’s business while ignoring one of Chapel Hill’s most longstanding progressive institutions! Here’s what I wrote to the editor:
I demand that you discontinue referring to Branch’s as “Chapel Hill’s only independent bookstore.” (Chapel Hill Herald, 5/4/04) Internationalist Books was founded by Bob Sheldon in 1981 as a resource for open minds and free thinkers. It later moved to Rosemary Street and then to Franklin Street where it became Internationalist Books and Community Center.
We’re all glad to have more alternatives to chains, and it’s great to now have two choices for book shopping in southern Orange County. But since the topic of your story seemed to be the fate of independent booksellers generally in Chapel Hill, your omission of the one that has been serving the community for over 20 years is a serious one.
I encourage the reporter to visit Internationalist Books and Community Center at 405 West Franklin Street and see what a historic, independent, community-oriented bookstore looks like. More information is available at www.internationalistbooks.org