James Franco REALLY Likes Books

rexusa_1824980bPhoto: MediaPunch Inc/REX USA.
James Franco isn't afraid to get weird. We know this. And, if you genuinely did not know this, look no further than his painted-body cover shoot, cemetery apartment art, and "Bound 2" parody with Seth Rogen for proof. But, the actor is also a major supporter of the written word. And, more importantly, he's a huge supporter of Strand Bookstore. The brick-and-mortar shop is the only remaining member of New York City's book row, a section of 4th Avenue that formerly housed close to 50 bookstores. And, Strand credits its survival to its use of social media — and, of course, supporters like Franco.
Now in its 86th year of business, Strand boasts more than 2.5 million books lining floor-to-ceiling shelves throughout the store. And, though it claims it was late to the game, a strong web presence and big-name partnerships help the NY institution stay afloat. According to a Strand employee the store hosted two events with Franco and each time he shared info about it on Instagram or Twitter there was a "massive bump in ticket sales." Franco's followers, in turn, become Strand supporters.
Franco's support also extends to authors. He created a video for Gary Shteyngart's forthcoming memoir Little Failure. And, he got his friends Rashida Jones, Jonathan Franzen, David Ebershoff, Alex Karpovsky, and Sloane Crosley to join him. A book trailer of this caliber affords the author more publicity than he may have received on his own. Plus, it confirms what we've always believed to be true in our hearts: No matter how cool Franco looks, he's as nerdy as we are — at least on the inside.
Click through to the next page to see how Strand benefits from its A-list fans and to see Franco's super-strange book trailer.
Franco's book trailer for Little Failure.
The Strand discusses its social media playbook and its partnership with Franco.