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 author of RED SAUCE: HOW ITALIAN FOOD BECAME AMERICAN (April 2022, Rowman & Littlefield). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →