Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Poring over POUR YOUR HEART INTO IT: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

By: Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang
Where: N-train
Who was reading: A mild-mannered Sara Crewe type with a tidy blue pea coat, bottle green galoshes crossed daintily at the ankles, and the face of a porcelain doll.
Printed on the book was: Property of the Hoboken Public Library.
Property, eh? I remember back before there was property (this is a bald-faced lie), before the enclosure movement, when words sprang forth unhindered like wild blackberries in the common fields. Their bounty was free to be enjoyed by lowly peasants and feudal lords alike.
Then the capitalists came... and after they had slain all the diggers, they appropriated the common land for themselves, and bound it with fences so that it was accessible only to a privileged few. But it didn’t end with land. Oh no. Suddenly all our best resources had to be divvied up into wee packages, stamped as commercial goods and sold for a hefty premium. Bread was portioned into slices (which was actually a pretty good idea in retrospect…), words were forced into constrictive narrative arcs under the savage whips of editors, then sold in inky little rectangles called “books”, and vast urns of coffee were emptied into scores of identical cardboard cups that would go on to sell for upwards of 4 bucks a pop at Starbucks.
Starbucks? Hey—that’s what this book is about! Cool, right?
To learn more about how the privileged few converted the blood, sweat and tears of working men and women into sparkly gold coins, read Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time.


  1. So this is probably not the aspect of your post on which you expected comments, but I love your description of this reader. I want her outfit! Political leanings aside, you could write copy for J Crew.

  2. Genius! Bravo! Encore! ... and other starbucks drink sizes.

  3. I grow more and more despondent as new entries from The Book Spy do not appear. Only you can cure me book spy.

  4. I LOVE that you used a literary character (a favorite of mine, too) to describe a reader. Sara Crewe, indeed.