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Some Surprising Good News: Bookstores Are Booming and Becoming More Diverse

The New York Times – “More than 300 bookstores have opened in the past couple of years — a revival that is meeting a demand for “real recommendations from real people….Two years ago, the future of independent book selling looked bleak. As the coronavirus forced retailers to shut down, hundreds of small booksellers around the United States seemed doomed. Bookstore sales fell nearly 30 percent in 2020, U.S. Census Bureau data showed. The publishing industry was braced for a blow to its retail ecosystem, one that could permanently reshape the way readers discover and buy books. Instead, something unexpected happened: Small booksellers not only survived the pandemic, but many are thriving. “It’s kind of shocking when you think about what dire straits the stores were in in 2020,” said Allison Hill, the chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, a trade organization for independent bookstores. “We saw a rally like we’ve never seen before.”…

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