From The Boston Globe (April 2, 2009)
Unchained success: Independent bookstores holding up vs. big rivals
By Irene Sege
BROOKLINE - Signs on the doors of two Coolidge Corner bookstores told a tale challenging the conventional wisdom. The one at Barnes & Noble said "Closed." The one on the independent Brookline Booksmith welcomed the chain's customers and solicited their suggestions. Now, three months after Barnes & Noble departed, Booksmith savors modest growth in the midst of a recession that's battering most retailers.
"I do think there's a swing back to valuing local and independent," said Booksmith manager Dana Brigham. "Small and local can be good places to do business and very healthy for your community."
Booksmith is not the only independent bookstore proving surprisingly sturdy in a stormy economy. Other small booksellers are withstanding the downturn with the same combination of community involvement, personalized service, events, e-commerce, and such extras as cafés or gifts or used books, that enabled them to survive the onset of megachains and Amazon.com.
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Two Independent Stores Where I Shop for Books
Banbury Cross Children’s Bookshop in Wenham, Massachusetts
Inside Banbury Cross
Cornerstone Books in Salem, Massachusetts