The Resurgence of the Independent Bookstore

GBH Forum Network – Feb 2, 2023

Something exciting and unexpected has been happening over the past few years. More than 300 new independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country and the bookstore owners and their inventory have become much more diverse.

The phenomenon is in some part, attributable to the pandemic. People were shuttered in for extended periods and had time to read. Secondly, they recognized their hunger for a place of connection that was safe. The public had rallied rather unexpectedly to support their local bookstores during lockdown and when restrictions relaxed, people returned to their favorite places. These bookstores represented much more than anonymous Amazonian warehouses for purchasing; they had become much-needed centers for community engagement and dialogue, crucibles for ideas and human interaction.

Consequently, all sorts of people with no professional background in books, used their savings or government stimulus checks to follow a dream of opening their own bookstore. Despite the numerous ongoing challenges, nobody seems to have regretted their decision. So, what makes a bookstore special and why become a bookseller? In this Forum we talk to a variety of bookstore owners about their passion for the printed word and their experiences in the literary world.

— Contents of the video — 0:00:00 – Introduction 0:00:51 – Program Start 0:01:52 – Welcoming Remarks 0:05:12 – Discussion Start 1:04:49 – Closing Remarks

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