How to Save Local Bookstores: Encourage Bicycling

Elly Blue at Grist suggests that a market for independent bookstores could be returning along with a rise in bicycling and walkable neighborhoods.
September 18, 2011, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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While Blue doesn't argue specifically that bikes = bookstores, she does accurately describe the issues facing the retail landscape today:

"Suburban, big-box behemoths took out more than just bookstores: Mom-and-pop hardware stores, pharmacies, and restaurants have all seen their business crater. The process devastated the fabric of urban neighborhoods and the small businesses that hold them together. Bookstores were hit particularly hard because they sell luxury items whose tiny profit margins require moving low-priced units in huge numbers.

It's a bummer of a story, but the natural consequence of giant chains collapsing under the weight of their own price cuts offers hope."

Blue suggests that communities like Santa Monica, CA with rising bicyclist populations have a hunger for independent bookstores and publishers.

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Published on Thursday, September 15, 2011 in Grist
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