Photo: “Ron Davis and Crystal Wilkinson opened Wild Fig Books and Coffee a year ago in Lexington, Ky. They are among the entrepreneurs taking advantage of the resurgence of independent bookstores.”
“…A decade ago, independent bookstores were viewed as an industry on the decline. Crushed on price by Amazon and by the wide selection of national retailers like Barnes & Noble, thousands of mom-and-pop outlets had closed up shop.
But after years of losses, they are emerging from the decimation, with the number of independent bookstores rising 21 percent from 2010 to 2015.
In a twist of fate, it is the internet — the very thing that was supposed to wipe them out — that is helping these small stores.
Retail sales of new books, which include chains but not online retailers such as Amazon, increased last year for the first time since 2007, according to Census Bureau data — and are up another 6 percent this year. By contrast, Barnes & Noble’s sales fell 6.6 percent last quarter.
‘Bookstores are being reinvented by taking advantage of how the world has changed,’ said Oren Teicher, chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, which represents independent sellers. ‘The whole ability to put technology to work for you has changed everything.’…”
Article by Amy Haimler
Photo by William DeShazer for The New York Times