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The death of the independent bookstore?

It has come to my attention that there’s a literary agency called BookEnds (whose blog is listed on my sidebar because it’s a really, really interesting look at what agents look for when the look to take on a new author). Anyways, I may have to change the title of this blog, so if anyone has any suggestion, leave a comment and I’ll consider it. I’m afraid this blog has become just another run-of-the-mill book blogs, so I need a title that really grabs the reader’s attention.

The other day I was talking to an acquaintance where the conversation turned to independent bookstores and the sad demise of them. This subject has of course been a topic of conversation for a long time, and with the meteoric rise of e-retailers, won't get any better. My acquaintance told me the following story: she was in search of a relatively rare book that he local indie bookstore didn’t have. Rather than let my acquaintance go to Barnes and Noble or Borders, or even Amazon.com, the clerk recommended she try another indie store in the area. That’s how committed people are to keeping independent bookstores in business: they’d rather a customer go to a small competitor rather than a large one.

The thing about independent bookstores is that they are completely delightful, charming places. There’s a used bookstore around the corner from me called Heights Books, on Montague Street in Brooklyn. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous bookstore I’ve ever been in, and the merchandise is a little worn around the corners, but at this bookstore you can find some of the most delightful literary treasures—it’s how I’ve found many of the books sitting on my bookshelves. The sad thing is that I rarely ever see another customer in there, because, as we all know, people don’t shop at indie bookstores anymore. It’s why I go to places like Heights Books—I’m making my own contribution to trying to keep independent bookstores alive and breathing.

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