Dec 16 2013
The Washington Post reports on the growth of independent bookstores:
"In an e-tailing world, their resurgence is driven by e-book growth that has leveled off, dyed-in-the-wool print lovers who won't (or can't) abandon page flipping, a new category of hybrid reader (the latest mystery, digital; the latest John Irving, print) and savvy retailers such as the Englands, positioning their stores squarely in the buy-local movement and as a respite from screens.
The American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, says its membership — it hit a low of 1,600 in 2008 — has grown 6.4 percent in 2013, to 2,022. Sales were up 8% in 2012, and those gains have held this year...
Twenty-five years ago, independents were supposed to vanish when Waldenbooks showed up in malls. They were supposed to vanish when Borders and Barnes & Noble came along with endless selection and comfy chairs. They were supposed to vanish when Costco started selling the latest Doris Kearns Goodwin . They were supposed to vanish when Amazon perfected low prices and fast shipments — not just for books but even for rowboats, meaning nobody would ever have to leave the house again to shop."
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