The internet has made it more convenient than ever to do your shopping. Despite this, independent bookstores are making a comeback.
A little more than ten years ago, Val Stadick had just graduated college with a degree in English and a dream.
“One day, I was sorting books at the Thrift Store and I said, ‘You know.. this is the happiest place I ever been, really. Wouldn’t it be amazing to own my own bookstore?'” says Val Stadick, Owner Main Street Books.
Six months later, she opened Main Street Books, which -according to the American Booksellers Association- was right in the middle of a large dip in independently-owned bookstores
“I really didn’t have anything to relate it to, as I was newly opened, but you could really see the Kindles and the eReaders were having an impact,” says Stadick.
In the past four years, eBooks have declined by 36% but nearly 2,000 indie bookstore companies have started up across the country.
“We’re really having a nice year, this year, so now I think I’m feeling what the other businesses were feeling without the road construction,” says Stadick.
A Harvard Assistant Professor of Business Administration recently released a study on the resurgence of indie bookstores. He found that the successful stores had placed a focus on being local and preserving community values.
“It’s nice to have a local bookstore that can kind of meet your needs, and they’re supportive of educators so they put a lot of money back into our community,” says Molly Paszeck, Local Shopper.
He says the personalized experience is what sets the indie stores apart from the larger chain stores.
“Just the atmosphere. There’s always a greeting with a smile and just lots of pleasantries,” says Paszeck.
“There’s just a really warm feeling in the store. People tell me all the time, when they come in, ‘I could just stay here forever.’ It’s a really happy place,” says Stadick.
Stadick adds that she tends to get emotional thinking about all the love and support she gets from the community, especially on holidays like Small Business Saturday.