Sunday, March 29, 2009

Independent Bookstores Are Not Dead Yet!

I visited one of my favorite little independent bookstores yesterday.

And while the owner told me business was down, he had good news - they were moving and expanding!

They're just traveling across the street, but it will be a newly remodeled building, they will have several floors, and his new business partner is putting in a coffee shop. The move itself will be a challenge, but he's looking forward to the new place!

He's got three black cats that wander the store and isn't sure how they will handle the move - one might go home instead. Hopefully they will transition well, though. I cannot imagine visiting this store and not seeing the cats. (Or having the smallest one steal Tootsie Rolls from my candy dish!)

So not all of the independents are dying! (And not all of the physical stores are dying.)

Do you have a favorite little store near you? One that's held on through the years? Please share!


  1. That sounds like an amazing store.

    There's no independent close to me. Used to be one not too far away, just in the next town. But it closed. It was a nice store. Not big, but with a good selection. Two women ran it. They had a little bar where you could get a glass of wine. That was nice when they had an author in to speak. And they often sponsored neighborhood events.


  2. I wish independents well. In fact, I just wrote a book that is now available on Amazon that will help them. It is A RETAILER'S GUIDE TO FRUGAL IN-STORE PROMOTIONS. It is my opinion that most bookstores (chain and indies) are not harnessing the potential available with all the indie-published writers. If each had but one reading and signing event a week with an indie author and that author promoted, the free promotion the store would get would be worth the effort. If that author sold 10 books that would raise that store's profits by something from, say, two to ten percent. You do that 52 times a year and it makes an appreciable difference, perhaps enough to keep them kicking with energy through the recession!

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick,

  3. I LOVE small independent bookstores and always try to support them... especially if they're home to cats! :-)

    I wish this store the best. The coffee shop is a great touch.

  4. I love independent bookstores, especially those that specialize. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, there's one by the name of "Shaman Drum Bookstore" that specializes in esoteric spiritual books of all different paths and religions. Really great.

  5. Nothing like ma and pa businesses. Those are the best, not the conglomerates. Ours are gone.

    Morgan Mandel

  6. I just did a book signing at at Wordsworth, an independent store in Little Rock, Arkansas. It's a wonderful store that I have visited often when in the area. It was like a dream come true to actually do a signing there. But I know they are struggling to stay open.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  7. Jane, I visited the Bretanno's a few years back, but don't remember that one in Little Rock. Think the Bretanno's is gone, too...

    We've lost so many in NC. Some of my favorites are still hanging on. Listed a couple in my sidebar as well.

  8. Like Carolyn, I wish the independents well. (Great idea, by the way, CHJ!) My favorite independent bookstore of all time--The Remarkable Book Shop in Westport, CT--closed quite a while back. But I love the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Centre, VT and of course the one and only RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT. The independents are great places to do book talks.