Happy Customers Use Crowdfunding to Save Beloved Indie Bookstores

Independent bookstores aren't able to compete with Amazon on price, but they do offer something the online giant can't — a beloved community space.

The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast over at Wired covered an interesting subject this week: indie bookstores that have persevered in the Amazon age. In particular, the podcast focuses on a couple of bookstores specializing in sci-fi — Borderlands Books in San Francisco and Singularity & Co. in Brooklyn — that owe their continued existence to crowdfunding.

Borderlands was set to close when San Francisco raised the minimum wage to $15/hr. The community stepped in to change the store's fate:

"The reality is that [the] bookstore is one business that simply isn’t profitable enough to pay higher wages. That may not matter. In the wake of [the] announcement, hundreds of supporters have signed up as 'sponsors,' raising enough money to keep the store open — and maybe even allowing [it] to expand."

While brick-and-mortar stores aren't able to compete with Amazon on pricing, the social good they provide the local community does not go unnoticed. And as crowdfunding emerges as the most democratic and populistic method of obtaining capital, it should only be expected that beloved community spaces will continue to be propped up by those who would hate to see them go.

Read more at Wired.

Below, writer Bret Easton Ellis explains how e-books are re-shaping authorship:

Photo credit: Ksenia Ragozina / Shutterstock

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