The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community

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9781569246818: The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community
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The landmark survey that celebrates all the places where people hang out--and is helping to spawn their revival
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

"Third places," or "great good places," are the many public places where people can gather, put aside the concerns of home and work (their first and second places), and hang out simply for the pleasures of good company and lively conversation. They are the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of a democracy. Author Ray Oldenburg portrays, probes, and promotes th4ese great good places--coffee houses, cafes, bookstores, hair salons, bars, bistros, and many others both past and present--and offers a vision for their revitalization.
Eloquent and visionary, this is a compelling argument for these settings of informal public life as essential for the health both of our communities and ourselves. And its message is being heard: Today, entrepreneurs from Seattle to Florida are heeding the call of The Great Good Place--opening coffee houses, bookstores, community centers, bars, and other establishments and proudly acknowledging their indebtedness to this book.


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About the Author:

Ray Oldenburg, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the University of West Florida. He is frequently sought after as a media commentator and consultant to entrepreneurs, community and urban planners, churches, and others seeking to establish great good places. He lives in Pensacola, Florida.

Review:

The Great Good Place has put into words and focus what I've been doing all my life, from the barbershop I remember as a child to the bookstore I now own. My goal at Horizon Books is to provide that third place in which people can "hang out." Ray Oldenburg has defined those good places while still recognizing the magical chemistry they require. The Great Good Place is a book to read, to recommend, and to quote. -- Victor W. Herman, owner of Horizon Books, with locations in Traverse City, Petoskey, and Cadillac, Michigan

A book that should be read by everyone in North America over the age of 16 -- The World of Beer

A day doesn't go by that I don't refer to Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place. At a time when all great, good independent bookstores everywhere are under siege, we're fortunate that Mr. Oldenburg has articulated our message so clearly. -- Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, Miami, Florida

Examines gathering places and reminds us how important they are. People need the 'third place' to nourish sociability. -- Parade

Oldenburg believes that the powerful need in humans to associate with one another will inevitably lead to the revival of places where, as the theme song to the TV show Cheers so aptly put it, 'everyone knows your name.' We'll drink to that. -- Booklist

Ray Oldenburg is inspirational. He is the first to recognize and articulate the importance of the greeting place (third place) for the well-being of the individual and society at large. -- Ron Sher, President, Terranomics Development and founder of Third Place Books, Seattle, Wash.

The great value of this book is that Mr. Oldenburg has given us an insightful and extremely useful new lens through which to look at a familiar problem. -- New York Times Book Review

This wonderful and utterly important book verifies our need for fun through conversation in "great good places." Oldenburg writes passionately of our country's current and urgent problems resulting from our ever-increasing social isolation and provides us with a very simple solution. America must read and react to this rational common-sense solution to salving our stressed lives. And our government needs to promote, permit, and zone responsible neighborhood hospitality, recognizing the value of "a vital informal life." -- Lynne Breaux, owner, Tunnicliff's Tavern, Washington, D.C.

Well-written, informative, and often entertaining. -- Newark Star-Ledger

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