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How to Stay in Business If You're an Independent Bookstore

A shelf at McNally Jackson. Photo by Brian Harkin
A shelf at McNally Jackson. Photo by Brian Harkin

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New York Magazine analyzed the tactics used by six of the city's thriving independent bookstores to figure out how they've stayed in business amid major closures, like that of Rizzoli on 57th Street and several Barnes & Nobles.

In the case of BookCourt in Cobble Hill, owners Henry Zook and Mary Gannett have stayed alive by buying their building back in 1981. "So while other stores struggle with leases that seem to rise with every affluent (usually book-loving) new arrival to the neighborhood, BookCourt actually benefits by collecting rent from upstairs."

For those who can't do that, there are other options, such as walk[ing] the line between indie and superstore" (like Nolita's McNally Jackson and "hang on until the nearby Barnes & Noble closes" like Three Lives in the West Village.
· 6 Independent Bookstores Are Thriving — and How They Do It [NYM]
· The Rizzoli Bookstore's Last Day on 57th Street Is Next Friday [Racked NY]