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Indie Bookstores Growing... But not in the Black Community

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The Washington Post
Independent bookstores turn a new page on brick-and-mortar retailing
By Michael S. Rosenwald, Published: December 15

 

From the article:


The American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, says its membership — it hit a low of 1,600 in 2008 — has grown 6.4 percent in 2013, to 2,022. Sales were up 8 percent in 2012, and those gains have held this year.

 

Nationally, while there are still indie bookstores shutting their doors, unable to hold on against the tough head winds, there are more stores opening than closing.

 

This is not the first article if read recently about a growth in the number of independent bookstores.  I been witnessing and writing about the stark reduction in the number of Black owned bookstores in America.  So while I find the apparent growth of indie bookstores in the majority community, I have no reason to rejoice fort the Black community. 

 

These stores simply will not stock a large number of books written by Black people.  Sure, the more progressive stores will have the award winning book of James McBride and Jesmyn Ward, they will also sell anything Oprah anoints like the 12 Tribes of Hattie, they'll stock Toni Morrison and Alice Walker and for extra credit they'll have a few foreign authors like Adiche and Zadie Smith on their selves.

 

But the so called mid-list Black authors not very likely to be in stock; self-published authors, forget about it; books by Black cultural icons like Dr Ben, Chancellor Williams or John Henrik Clarke--don't make me laugh.

 

It is just as well, Black folks don't read anyway.

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