Survival of the Independents

With the popularity of e-readers on the rise, the struggle of independent bookstores to stay afloat is tougher than ever. These stores have what it takes to not only stay afloat, but thrive.

Quimby's

Store Info

Contact

(773) 342-0910
Website

Specialties

zines, comic books, independent publishing


Fun Fact

The store participates in open consignment. This means that they will sell anything that gets submitted because Quimby's will pay the publisher only if the product sells. This system allows Quimby's to take risks without jeopardizing the success of the store.

Thoughts on the Future

"The future is a challenging one for us, but it's all about making content less alien. My goal is to turn people on to awesome content,” says clerk and writer Neil Brideau.

Centuries and Sleuths

Store Info

Contact

(708) 771-7243
Website

Specialties

histories, mysteries, biographies


Fun Fact

This year the store held its 18th annual Meeting of Minds. For the event, actors work in preparation for eight months to play famous historical figures. On the day of the event, the actors behave as that figure before an audience, performing a monologue and answering questions. Past historical figures have included Joan of Arc, George Bernard Shah, and Oscar Wilde

Thoughts on the Future

"If the independents can adapt, they will survive. They only thing I worry about is the economics of e-readers. They are convenient and cheap," says owner Augie Aleksy.

Townhouse Books and Cafe

Store Info

Contact

(630) 584-8600
Website

Specialties

contemporary fiction, children's books, special orders


Fun Fact

The store was built in 1853 and was originally a townhome, hence its name. It was built in the Victorian Greek Revival style that was popular at the time.

Thoughts on the Future

Says storeowner David Hunt,"I hope there is going to be a renaissance of independent bookstores. I think people are going to want that place to meet, a place they can call their own. Hopefully, maybe this is naïve, but what we are hearing from people is that it is important."