Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SF Chronicle: Bookstores bracing for the next chapter

In the 1970's my parents investigated opening a neighborhood bookstore, but they reluctantly gave up this pipe dream when they saw how unlikely it was that they'd ever break even, let alone make a profit.

If anything, the economics are worse today, yet independent bookstores still manage to hang on. I can't help but wonder how...but I'm so grateful they do. Browsing the shelves in my neighborhood bookstore is one of my favorite past times.

In his latest column, SF Chronicle columnist John King examines the strategies some local independents are using to keep the lights on and the shelves stocked.
Bookstores bracing for the next chapter
Only a few years ago, bookstores helped define neighborhoods. They were physical and cultural markers on the landscape - showcases of what mattered, there and then.
Now, instead of perking up when I step through the doors of a good bookstore, I wonder morosely how long it will last.

"It's an antiquarian business model in a changing world," admits Melissa Mytinger, manager of Cody's Books in Berkeley. (Link to article.)

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