Publishers Weekly Reports 60 New Indie Bookstores Opened in 2015

If you can remember the meet-cute premise of the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan 1998 movie YOU’VE GOT MAIL (written and directed by the late, great Nora Ephron)–where the heroine is losing her independent bookstore when a Barnes and Noble-like chain store opens up around the corner–then you know what it was like on the Upper West Side when Barnes & Noble opened up on West 65th Street and Broadway Across from Lincoln Center. Chains like B&N and Border’s killed the little guys. Just all-out murder. Changed the landscape.

Of course THAT PARTICULAR B&N IS CLOSED. (Yes, that poor, teary-eyed woman hugging the side of the building was me.)

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Books got cheaper. Meeting places were established for presentations. But some flavor in the business was lost, some passion from dedicated booksellers who were really readers themselves. Specialists who knew their customers as people. That was when bar codes got stamped on the back of covers, robbing publishers of real estate for quotes and descriptive copy. We went to controlled inventory systems and factory-like precision and timing of returns.

Fast forward to 2016…

Portrait Of Female Bookshop Owner Outside Store

Portrait Of Female Bookshop Owner Outside Store

Two decades have passed, and the industry is now in a second phase post-chain store disruption … we’re post digital disruption too, and things are stabilizing. Readers still like reading PRINTED BOOKs: physical objects. And people want to be able to buy them in stores. And there are owners of businesses who are creeping back into the landscape with new savvy about how to reach customers in person and online. They understand the value they bring to their neighborhoods and communities of like-minded readers.

Please enjoy this article from Publishers Weekly on the trend back toward indie stores and remember to visit your local bookstore.

Other articles you may like:

Independents in New York City

Indie Bookstores in NYC That Are Not the Strand

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