Independent bookstores got a whole lot of love from the media last week, starting with a February 25 article in the International New York Times that trumpeted the growing number of indie bookstores in the U.S. The story “Assessing the Health of Independent Bookstores” reported that the number of ABA member bookstore locations in the U.S. has grown 27 percent since 2009. The article compared this data to a decrease in the number of bookstores in the U.K., as reported by the Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and a flat rate of growth in France.
In the following days, two other major online publications posted positive stories: “The Rise of Independent Booksellers in the Time of Amazon,” a February 26 article in Buzzfeed that explores the health of indie bookstores as reflected in last month’s Winter Institute, and a February 27 story in The Daily Beast: “The Few, the Proud, the Independent Bookstores.”
After the Times article came out, Roxane Gay, author of the 2014 bestseller Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial), shared the factoid about the 27 percent growth in indie stores with her 60.4 thousand Twitter followers. Her initial Tweet was re-tweeted hundreds of times, and Gay went on to live-tweet compliments to 20 of her favorite bookstores.
In addition to coverage by Buzzfeed and The Daily Beast, three other news stories, all published February 26, spread the news about American bookstores’ growing ranks: a write-up on Bustle, a short piece in Paste Magazine, and a story on the Associations Now website.