Emily Gould’s bookstore, Emily Books, has launched. But they are only selling a single e-book: No More Nice Girls, an essay collection by the former New Yorker music critic Ellen Willis that was originally published by Wesleyan University Press in 1992. But available digitally exclusively at Emily Books!
You might wonder what kind of bookstore only has one book. Well, the entrepreneurial Ms. Gould and her business partner, Ruth Curry, have an answer: “Emily Books is not a regular bookstore. It’s more like a club, actually,” they write in their introduction to the site. “We only sell ebooks, and only a few of them.” Users can subscribe for one year for $159.99 (not $160), and have a new book selected by Ms. Gould and Ms. Curry materialize from the ether onto their tablets and readers each month.
Emily Books will also publish essays related to the book of the month on its blog and even hold a monthly book club meeting for members in New York. The first selected book appears to be inspired by the success of Out of the Vinyl Deeps, the collection of Ellen Willis’s music criticism that quickly became mandatory reading for young feminists this summer. Might Emily Gould might have just started a sort of Oprah’s Book Club for the Girl Crush set?
The world of digital reading is overwhelmingly corporate, and Ms. Gould intends to restore some of the pleasure of bookshop browsing to the e-book experience. “We want there to eventually be a lot of places on the internet that are just like your favorite local independent bookstore,” write Ms. Gould and Ms. Curry. “Emily Books is the first independent ebookstore. We hope it is the first of many.”