Indie Groundbreaking Booksellers

Left Bank Books
Left Bank Books
Community and Action

by Amy Shamroe / June 2016

In 1969 a group of Washington University students opened a bookstore to bring literature of all kinds to St. Louis. The mission has always been “to spark public conversation by curating an intel …   

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The Ripped Bodice
The Ripped Bodice
Books and Lovers

by Amy Shamroe / March 2016

Once there were two sisters who fell in love with love. Leah and Bea Koch are the first to tell you they have loved romance novels since they could first choose their own books. This love persevered; …   

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Best Loved Bookstores
Best Loved Bookstores
Stealing Hearts for Decades

by Amy Shamroe / February 2016

For book lovers, their loyalty to favorite bookstores can be like a good, long term relationship - comforting, familiar, but still able to surprise. This column celebrates independent bookstores all o …   

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Little Free Libraries
Little Free Libraries
Books for Everyone, Everywhere

by Amy Shamroe / September 2015

There are a lot of great independent bookstores out there we all love to support. But what happens to books after they are bought and read? While many find their way into used bookstores or thrift sho …   

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The Writer's Block
The Writer's Block
Prospecting Books in Las Vegas

by Amy Shamroe / August 2015

The latest attraction getting attention in downtown Las Vegas isn't a new feature in the Fremont Street Experience or a hot new game at the Golden Nugget- it's a bookstore located a couple blocks away …   

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Greenlight Bookstore
Greenlight Bookstore
A Fairytale of New York

by Amy Shamroe / July 2015

“I often think of our story—the Greenlight story—as a bookstore fairytale.”- Rebecca Fitting, co-ownerMost bookstores don't have their launch party a year before the store actu …   

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Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop
Discovering New Worlds in the Old Neighborhood

by Amy Shamroe / June 2015

Candice Huber's grandparents were born across the street from one another on Toulouse Street in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. As children, they were given the nicknames Tubby and Coo. The …   

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Mystery Edition
Mystery Edition
Thrilling Indies

by Amy Shamroe / May 2015

With summer comes new releases from perennial mystery favorites like John Lescroart, James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, and David Baldacci. We at Independent Publisher thought it was the perfect opp …   

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The Seminary Co-op Bookstores
The Seminary Co-op Bookstores
A Community that Reads

by Amy Shamroe / April 2015

Tucked away in the south side neighborhood of Hyde Park quietly sits one of Chicago's most enduring cultural icons – Seminary Co-op Bookstores. Located within two blocks of one another, these st …   

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Black Books
Black Books
An Artisan Bookstore for Real People

by Amy Shamroe

Hidden away in the heart of London is a new/used bookstore that is sure to warm the heart of any bibliophile. Black Books is a bijou gem that is hard to find these days- charming built-in shelves with …   

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Hub City Bookshop
Hub City Bookshop
Spartanburg, The Town Books Re-Built

by Amy Shamroe

When people think of cultural centers in the South, most would list New Orleans, Savannah, maybe Charleston. How about Spartanburg, South Carolina? For almost twenty years, Hub City Bookshop has been …   

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Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction & Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore
Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction & Uncle Edgar's Mystery Bookstore
Legends in the Business of Books

by Amy Shamroe / December 2015

The return of independent bookstores is often heralded with stories of quaint “old fashioned” shops, out-of-the-box store concepts, and community projects. While all of those types–a …   

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Indie Book Leaders
Indie Book Leaders
Groundbreaking, but Community Rooted

by Amy Shamroe / October 2015

As the Independent Publisher Book Awards contest celebrates 20 years, it is also a good time to look back at some of the most respected and established independent bookstores featured as our Indie Gro …   

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Brilliant Books
Brilliant Books
Long Distance, Local Bookstore

by Amy Shamroe

In America, brilliant is often used to refer to something profound or intelligent. In England, brilliant is used much more as an excited utterance regarding something outstanding or exceptional. Brill …   

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Back-to-School Edition
Back-to-School Edition
Encouraging Young Readers

by Nicolette Amstutz

September is a time for new beginnings with the start of school. We at Independent Publisher want to shine the spotlight on independent bookstores who have been celebrating children and cultivating th …   

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The Last Bookstore
The Last Bookstore
A Literary and Artistic Masterpiece

by Nicolette Amstutz

The Last Bookstore is one that readers have to see to believe. With its color-coded shelves, book portholes, book tunnels, and sculptures, there is no question that the books are put on center stage a …   

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Changing Hands Bookstore
Changing Hands Bookstore
Keeping the Community in Mind

by Nicolette Amstutz

It was during Gayle Shanks, Tom Brodersen, and Bob Sommer's time as volunteers at an alternative school for kids that the idea for a socially responsible bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, was born.Changing …   

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Books & Books
Books & Books
Seven Locations, a Production Company, and a Press

by Nicolette Amstutz

If you are a bookstore owner thinking about opening another location, look to Books & Books for inspiration. Not only do they have three locations in South Florida, but they also have three others …   

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Green Apple Books
Green Apple Books
California Bookstore Day

by Nicolette Amstutz

Green Apple Books, this year's Publisher Weekly's Bookstore of the Year, has had a long history of selling books to the residents of San Francisco that dates back to 1967. An MBA group that came to st …   

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Politics & Prose
Politics & Prose
From One World of Words to Another

by Nicolette Amstutz

As I get closer to the front doors of Politics & Prose, I notice that the folks walking toward the door with me all pick up their pace and talk excitedly to whoever they are with as they get in si …   

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The Elliott Bay Book Company
The Elliott Bay Book Company
40 Years of Bookselling Down, Many More Years to Come

by Nicolette Amstutz

Peter Aaron, owner of The Elliott Bay Book Company, had a long and winding journey road to where he is today. “I arbitrarily picked a date and quit my job. I just walked away without having any …   

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Prairie Lights
Prairie Lights
A Writer’s Paradise

by Nicolette Amstutz

While you are waiting for a coffee at the cafe at Prairie Lights, it's not uncommon to see students from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop furiously typing away at their computer keys as they …   

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Brattle Book Shop
Brattle Book Shop
Boston's Own Treasure Island

by Nicolette Amstutz

Kenneth Gloss, owner of Brattle Book Shop, describes his job perfectly; finding rare books across the U.S. makes him feel like he is Jim Hawkins on Treasure Island. The store is known for its large an …   

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McLean & Eakin Booksellers
McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Beaches and Books

by Nicolette Amstutz

The beach town of Petoskey, MI, isn't short of books thanks to McLean & Eakin. Current owners, Matt and Jessilynn Norcross met at the store in 2003 when they both started working there full time. …   

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A Look Back
A Look Back
Celebrating a Year of Booksellers

by Nicolette Amstutz

As the holiday season comes to a close, we should be reminded of how we still have a lot to celebrate all throughout the year. Just one glance at our featured bookstores in 2013 provides enough proof …   

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Parnassus Books
Parnassus Books
A Bookstore Fit for Nashville

by Nicolette Amstutz

Bestselling author Ann Patchett and publishing professional Karen Hayes started a bookstore two years ago in Nashville, Tennessee, that lives up to its name: Parnassus Books. The name comes from Mount …   

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The Learned Owl Bookshop
The Learned Owl Bookshop
Educating Writers through Workshops

by Nicolette Amstutz

The Learned Owl Book Shop has a long-standing history in Hudson, Ohio, and is thought to be not only a bookstore, but a landmark of the city. The Learned Owl's history dates back to 1968 when hus …   

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The Poisoned Pen
The Poisoned Pen
Adding a Little Mystery to Conferences and Author Events

By Nicolette Amstutz

With a name like The Poisoned Pen, you may feel like you should be walking into the setting of a murder mystery instead of a favorite independent bookstore. Since 1989, Barbara Peters, the owner and f …   

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Powell's Books
Powell's Books
Buying Books for Generations of Readers

by Nicolette Amstutz

“You keep your net in the water,” Emily Powell, owner and president of Powell's Books, repeats her father's favorite saying that they both apply to their approach to business. “You a …   

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Basically Books
Basically Books
Aloha to Local Literature

by Nicolette Amstutz

If you were in downtown Hilo, Hawaii during the first week of April, you could have participated in an international Hula competition known as the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival with Basically Book …   

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Fountain Bookstore
Fountain Bookstore
Reaching Out Online and In-Store

by Nicolette Amstutz

Fountain Bookstore and the city of Richmond, Virginia, have been in a long-term relationship that dates back to 1978. The same could be said of owner Kelly Justice's relationship with the booksel …   

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Little Shop of Stories
Little Shop of Stories
A Community that Reads Together, Grows Together

by Nicolette Amstutz

The historic downtown square in Decatur, Georgia is home to Little Shop of Stories, an independent children's bookstore that welcomes children and adults of all ages. Diane Capriola and David Shallenb …   

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BookPeople
BookPeople
A Lesson in How to “Keep Austin Weird”

by Nicolette Amstutz

Driving past Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas, passersby catch sight of the expansive brick bookstore and coffeehouse, BookPeople, that has been a staple in the community since 1970. Steve Bercu, the …   

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Literati Bookstore
Literati Bookstore
Community Collaboration

By Nicolette Amstutz

Inside a quaint green brick building on the corner of Washington and 4th Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, lives Literati Bookstore. While the store has only been open since this past Easter, it is hard …   

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Reading Rock Books
Reading Rock Books
A Bookselling Sister Duo

By Nicolette Amstutz

Reading Rock Books isn't your average independent bookstore—it's a bookstore that, thanks to owners Laura Hill and Amy Jernigan, was vying with small businesses across the country for a free 30- …   

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Anderson’s Bookshops
Anderson’s Bookshops
How a Bookstore Can Change Its Community

by Nicolette Amstutz

Since 1875, the Anderson family has provided books to the community of Naperville, IL. The Anderson family's venture into bookselling began when Becky Anderson's great-great grandfather opened W.W. Wi …   

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City Lights
City Lights

by Nicolette Amstutz

Since 1953, City Lights of San Francisco, CA provides a platform for all types of artists and writers to let their voices be heard with their collection of international titles. When City Lights opene …   

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Women and Children First
Women and Children First
A Commitment to Writers and Readers

by Nicolette Amstutz

When someone says “women and children first,” you might first think of the RMS Titanic's protocol where women and children were the first to get into the limited number of lifeboats. In An …   

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Northshire Bookstore
Northshire Bookstore
Expanding Commitment to Community and State

by Nicolette Amstutz

Looking at the storefront of Northshire Bookstore, you might think this cozy blue building is home to a large family with an extreme love for books. You wouldn't be too far off; Northshire Bookstore h …   

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Between the Covers
Between the Covers
Breathing in Books and the Outdoors in Telluride, CO

by Nicolette Amstutz

Among the mountainous expanse of Telluride, Colorado lies a well-loved bookstore, Between the Covers (BTC). With shelves packed with books and the smell of coffee from the High Alpine Coffee Bar situa …   

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Diesel Books
Diesel Books
Independent Bookstores Taking Care of Who You Become

by Nicolette Amstutz

“It was either a bookstore or a bed and breakfast in Portugal,” said John Evans, one of the owners of DIESEL. Luckily for their customers and co-workers, John Evans and Alison Reid decided …   

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Octavia Books
Octavia Books
Reading with a Unique Local Flavor

by Nicolette Amstutz

On Saturday, August 27th of 2005, Octavia Books was having what would be their last book signing before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The owners of Octavia Books, husband and wife duo Tom Lowenbu …   

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Boneshaker Books
Boneshaker Books
Collectively Bringing Books to Minneapolis

by Nicolette Amstutz

Opening a bookstore in 2011 may have been a bit ambitious, but the community behind Boneshaker Books believed the feat was necessary, especially after the close of Minneapolis's former radical booksel …   

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Mitzi’s Books
Mitzi’s Books
Borders Closing, Community-Building and the Shop Local Movement

by Jim Barnes

When the Borders bookstore chain closed this fall, an alarm went out about The Collapse of the American Bookstore. Now, seemingly against all odds, the opposite is happening as a new surge of independ …   

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RJ Julia Booksellers
RJ Julia Booksellers
“A Bookstore is more than Just a Place to Sell Books”

by Jillian Bergsma

Nestled in downtown Madison, Connecticut, RJ Julia Booksellers is a haven for book lovers. Since the store opened in April of 1990, it has been the recipient of tons of notice and awards, including Pu …   

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