An Interview with Danny Caine, of The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas
Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country.
This month we’re pleased to continue chatting with Danny Caine, who you may know as the author of such awesome books and zines as How to Protect Bookstores and Why, and How to Resist Amazon and Why. We also recently had Danny as a guest on the podcast, which you can check out here.
Your Name and Pronouns:
Danny Caine, he/him
Your title at the store:
Part Owner / Buyer
Tell us a little bit about the store and your community:
The Raven Book Store has been serving Lawrence, Kansas since 1987. It opened as an all-mystery store but has since expanded into a general interest indie with a strong focus on local books to serve the needs of this midwestern college town. We have one store cat, Dashiell, whose personality is as big as his belly. We love being in Lawrence, a community that knows the value of independently-owned small businesses.
What got you into bookselling?
I got a part-time job as a Raven bookseller when I was at the University of Kansas working on my MFA. I fell in love with bookselling and the rest was history!
What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
20-30% of our sales are online, and much of that support comes from people who aren’t in Kansas. We’re honored and grateful to have found so many supporters across the country and around the world.
What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
There’s the usual and essential stuff like attending events, preordering books, posting pictures of the store online, and stopping into the store. But we love just as much the surprises, like people bringing us newspaper clippings or customers telling us jokes.
What are some books you can’t wait for people to read?
There are too many to count! Our monthly staff picks are on our website, and they’re a great way to take the temperature of what the staff is reading.
How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
We’re open 24/7 at ravenbookstore.com!
Be sure to follow The Raven Book Store online on Instagram and Twitter @ravenbookstore.
Danny also has a slew of events coming up to promote How to Protect Bookstores and Why, so be sure to take a look at our events page to see if he’s coming to your town!
Check back next month for our next feature store.