How Bookstores Survive – The Awl

Here’salookathowsixgreatindependentbookstoresmakeitinthebigcity,whichisactuallyaquestionIhavealwayswantedanswered。

TheParkSlopeCommunityBookstorehasdoneitinpartbycateringtoParkSlope’schild-relatedneeds,whichseemsobvious;BookCourtdiditbybuyingtheirbuildingand,eventually,thebuildingnextdoor。

PowerHouseArena,asanyonewhogoestothingsknows,doesitbytirelesslyhavingthingstogoto(andlotsandlotsofspacerental)。

ThelovelyGreenlightbooksdiditthroughcannyinvestmentandfundraisingandbybeingabookstorewhereabookstorewasneeded。

AndSarahMcNallyofMcNallyJacksondoesitbysellingacraploadof?

books:

Sheattributesmorethan$4millioninsaleslastyeartoanobviousfactor:volume。

“Insteadofgettingridofshelffordisplay,”shesays,“we’vegottenridofdisplayspaceforshelfspace。

”So65,000bookshavebeensqueezedinto7,000squarefeet(alongwithacafé),whilecreativeorganizingkeepsthemcompulsivelybrowsable。

Myonlycomplaintaboutthesebookstoresisthat,withtheexceptionofBookCourt’scat(pictured!

),therearen’tenoughcatsin?