WUOMFM

Independent bookstores are on the rise despite digital competition

Mar 10, 2015

With competition from Amazon and e-readers, big box bookstores have been hit hard. Borders closed in 2011 and Barnes & Noble has been forced to close hundreds of stores.

But independent bookstores are proving to have staying power.

The American Booksellers Association says indie bookstores have increased their numbers by 27% since 2009.

"I've been working in the book industry totally focused on the reader," says Janet Jones, owner of Source Booksellers on Cass Avenue in Detroit.

She believes that independent booksellers are once again reshaping themselves to help customers who are looking for an experience with books. Jones says there's a resurgence of interest in books. She thinks it comes from people wanting to connect, and she says bookstores are a great place for that.

"I think there is a rise in book clubs, people want to join together and talk about books," Jones says.

Jones sees bookstores as providing a service to the public -- somewhere to meet -- a destination that adds texture to a community.

"People really to want to read, and if we have a passion for reading, which I think people do, or a passion for information and knowledge and understanding, then bookstores are a wonderful and tried and true vehicle for that," Jones says.