New York proclaimed at the beginning of the week that the city’s indie bookstores were “rising,” a notion that looks pretty prescient since Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale. Now, Portfolio wonders whether independents will be “the Last Ones Standing“:
As small businesses, they are generally better at responding quickly to economic trends than their larger brothers. They’ve also been used to competing with players who might have more pricing power than they do, thanks, ironically, to the longstanding presence of the chains like Borders and Barnes & Noble.
The Book Bench, meanwhile, points out that outright animosity toward Barnes & Noble now seems like a relic of another era—the era of You’ve Got Mail, a movie in which Dave Chapelle played Tom Hanks’ bookshop assistant. “The late-nineties now seem especially improbable,” sighs Ian Crouch.