This Week in Indie Bookstores



Although Brooklyn stalwart BookCourt is sadly set to close at the end of the year, Modern Lovers author and former BookCourt employee Emma Straub plans to open a new shop in the the neighborhood. Books Are Magic, as the shop will be called, will be 1,500 square feet and hopes to open by April.

Straub wouldn’t be the first author to open up a bookshop after a hometown store closed.

John Freeman Gill discusses what BookCourt meant to him, and how he had planned to launch his debut novel at the store in March.

BookCourt owners sold the two properties for $13.6 million and a lifetime of goodwill to a real estate developer.


Ann Patchett has a bookstore guide for people who love visiting shops for book browsing. There are worse reasons for touring the United States than visiting the best bookstores.

Threatened by the arrival of a physical Amazon bookstore, indie bookstores in Chicago have launched an advertising campaign.

Chloe Eudaly won a seat on Portland’s City Council. Unlike President-elect Trump, who refuses to place his business in a blind trust, Eudaly plans on closing her store, Book Frenzy.

If you ever wanted to own a little book—like a really tiny book—now is your chance. Last year, Tokyo’s Lilliput Oval Saloon, a store of very small books, closed, and its inventory is heading to auction.

Pittsburgh bookstores are making a comeback.

A new bookstore aims to cut out of the book’s binding. Dead Bookstore is stocked with prints that owner and designer Ben Pieratt has separated from bindings.

California threatens to invade the privacy of book owners and undermine the value of signed books. A new law, lobbied for by Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, will require shops selling books autographed by authors validate the authenticity of the signatures by providing the name of the book’s previous owner.

Hotels and books are apparently a pretty good match.

A new bookstore in Istanbul promises spectacular views, assuming Turkish President Erdoğan won’t have book buyers arrested. And yes, I’m intentionally mocking President Erdoğan’s fascist policies.

Photograph of BookCourt courtesy of Ian MacAllen/English Kills Review.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). 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 →