Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Books Are Back

Books are back
  • Sales at all book shops: up 2.5 percent in 2015
  • Sales at independent books shops: up 10 percent in 2015
  • No. of independent book shops: up 22 percent since 2009
Source: American Book Sellers Association, U.S. Census Bureau

Employee Dustin Holland checks in books at the Barbed Wire Book Store in Longmont on Tuesday. For more photos of the bookstore go to

Across the country, chain and independent book stores are alive and for the most part well, as readers reach out to buy physical books, to earmark pages, thumb through appendices, write in margins and immerse themselves in words.

Sales at all book stores rose some 2.5 percent last year, according to the U.S. Census bureau.
But sales at independent book shops rose even more, according to the American Book Sellers Association. In this category, sales have risen consistently every year since 2009, with sales in 2015 up 10 percent over the previous year. To date in 2016, sales are up 5 percent.

At the same time, the number of book stores is on the rise. Since 2009, the number of independent shops has increased 22 percent, growing from 1,401 to 1,712. And individual stores are expanding. By 2015, the number of locations had grown 34.8 percent, according to the book sellers association, growing from 1,651 stores in 2009 to 2,227 outlets last year.


Using a Sponsorship Model to Save a Small Bookstore

Amazing story . . .

"News headlines reporting the death of the independent bookstore were premature, just as Beatts is finding he was also premature in announcing Borderlands’ end. Big chains such as Barnes & Noble and Borders were predicted to wipe bookstores out in 1990s, and while many closed, several held on and even weathered the 2008-2009 economic downturn. Currently, Amazon holds approximately 29 percent of the book market compared with independent stores’ 10 percent. Yet, independent bookstores aren’t an endangered species, creating a niche market in the digital age with sales modestly rising and doing things Amazon can’t, such as holding events, inviting guest authors to speak and personalizing consumer transactions, everything Borderlands already excelled at."

 “There isn’t a formula here. I don’t know any two bookstores that do things alike. We’ve seen a multiplicity of models. Like anything in retail, you gotta keep working at it, keep mixing it up. It’s about connecting to your customers . . .”