Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tired of hearing about the imminent death of bookstores?

Christine Onorati, the owner of WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y., is tired of hearing about how bookstores are doomed. "Half of all restaurants that open close," she said during a panel of New York independent booksellers who gathered last Friday at Greenlight Bookstore to celebrate the reissuing of Andrew Laties's Rebel Bookseller (Seven Stories). "But nobody says restaurants are dying." This was not an academic question for Onorati: her first bookstore never clicked with the Long Island community where it was located and she closed it before opening WORD. "People usually like the idea of a bookstore and what it represents to have one in their neighborhood," she said, but they don't always take the next step of actively shopping there. That's not a problem at WORD though: "We've grown every year since we opened, and our clientele is young."