Friday, June 19, 2015

Resurgence of Independent Bookstores!

Despite fears about the disappearance of independent bookstores, the number of such bookstores is actually growing! Hurray! Although the numbers are still way down from a quarter century ago, they have recently been making a comeback. A 5/27/15 San Francisco Chronicle article notes that there were 5,000 members of the American Booksellers Association 25 years ago, the numbers went down to 1,401 in 2009, but are now up to 1,752. The head of the association speculates that reasons for the “revival” of independents include the closing of Borders; the leveling out of book e-sales (“print books have remained the primary medium”); the “buy local” movement; and the passing of ownership of many stores to younger ones with “a whole new sense of energy – they’re more tech savvy and sophisticated. Their energy is contagious.” (I’m not sure about how I feel about this last reason listed;it seems to imply a slight denigration of older owners, but I won’t cavil too much in view of the overall good news.) Let's all remind ourselves of the pleasures of wonderful independent bookstores, get to our local ones more frequently, and buy more books there!

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