This Week in Indie Bookstores


To celebrate Small Business Saturday, President Obama shopped at Upshur Street Books in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington DC.

Magers & Quinn, an independent Minneapolis bookseller, has been open on Thanksgiving for the last thirteen years—mostly to provide employees without family in the area a place to be during the holiday. Working isn’t mandatory and the pay is time-and-a-half, but as big box stores begin creeping sales into the holiday, the local shop has faced criticism for their holiday tradition.

Saeed Book Bank in Islamabad, Pakistan, offers a massive selection of books. Ahmad Saeed recently took over the store after the death of his father. The New York Times profiles the iconic store.

A Lansing, Michigan bookstore raised its prices, with the profits benefitting a local food bank.

Flint, Michigan is getting a new used bookstore and the shop launched a soft open on Black Friday.

Taiwan-based chain Eslite opened its first shop in mainland China. Meanwhile, announced plans to open 1,000 physical stores beginning in Changsha, Hunan.

Ian MacAllen is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Little Fiction, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, Chicago Review of Books, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →