This Week in Indie Bookstores

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After laying off most of its workers because of COVID-19 related slowdowns, Portland’s Powell’s Books has rehired one hundred staff thanks to brisk online sales.

Unemployed booksellers in New York City have launched The Bookstore at the End of the World, a storefront operated through Bookshop.org where booksellers contribute lists of recommendations.

An Ann Arbor, Michigan bookstore, Literati, has raised more than $100,000 for staff salaries.

Dab Kois reflects about his last trip to a bookstore before the pandemic lockdown.

This San Francisco bookseller has some recommendations for reading while sheltering in place.

In more civilized corners of the world, bookstores are considered essential services if they sell newspapers.

A Madison bookstore has created a drive-through purchasing option.

A DC bookstore is offering customers mystery bags of books delivered to their door.

Not helping bookstore sales or author’s paychecks, the Internet Archive has begun pirating books for download, raising the ire of the Authors Guild.

Physical bookstores in China are beginning to reopen for business.


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 IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →