Finance

Independent Bookstores Aren't Dead

December 16, 2013
 

Bookstores are terminally ill. Borders? Dead. Barnes & Noble? Life support. Amazon is king. E-books are the present and the future. Have tablet, will read.

But in downtown Frederick, Md., Marlene and Tom England are defying the future: They recently opened the Curious Iguana bookstore. It carries books printed on paper. Nonfiction. Poetry. Short stories. That seems insane, right? Some people strolling by certainly think so.

How might “real” bookstores fight back against their Amazonian nemesis?

“I’ve heard them say: ‘A bookstore? Who would open up a bookstore these days?’ ” Marlene said. “I mean really, the door is open. I can heeaaaaaaaar you.”

Marlene has not ventured outside to offer the doomsayers a retort, but if she did, it would be this: Independent bookstores are not dead. In fact, in some of the country’s most urbane and educated communities, they are making a comeback.

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