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Richard Nadeau: The Importance of Booksellers

As a child and young adult my favourite bookstore was Cody’s on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. I was born in that city and after my family moved away we visited my grandparents there just about every holiday. The first thing I always did upon arrival was walk to Cody’s. Telegraph Avenue in the late ’60s and ’70s was where everything radical and interesting was happening—most of the political and social turmoil of that era in America was connected in some way to that place, and right in the middle of it sat Cody’s.

The great independent bookstores were, and are, places where people gather to engage in the broader culture. They are businesses, but also much more—they are catalysts. I was not alone in making the pilgrimage: many of the world’s greatest authors and thinkers stopped by to speak and to sign books. For a variety of reasons, Cody’s hit on hard times in the late ’90s and the 2000s. It closed nearly 10 years ago and left a big hole in Berkeley, but there is a new generation of booksellers who are finding ways to keep books and their authors, editors and publishers relevant in a continuously changing world.


Richard heads our global sales and distribution network, working closely with our distributors and sales force to bring Figure 1’s books to the world. He has had a varied book industry career over thirty years, as a researcher, bookseller, associate publisher and sales executive. When he’s not working at the office, Richard is likely to be found in his native California, hiking in the High Sierra with his wife, and probably biting off more than he can chew.

November 7, 2017
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