8/07/2017

In the age of Amazon, used bookstores are making an unlikely comeback


Early next month, Pablo Sierra is opening a used bookstore in Northwest Washington — an unlikely bet in the digital age made even more inconceivable, given that his only experience with books is reading them.

“I guess it is pretty crazy,” Sierra said, echoing an observation shared by some of his friends.

Or maybe not. Sierra, like ­other book lovers, has read articles about slowing e-book sales and watched as independent bookstores such as Politics and Prose thrive, catering to readers who value bookish places as cultural hubs and still think the best reading device is paper.

Used bookstores, with their quintessential quirkiness, eclectic inventory and cheap prices, find themselves in the catbird seat as the pendulum eases back toward print. In many cities, that’s a de facto position: They’re the only book outlets left.

While there are no industry statistics on used-book sales, many stores that survived the initial digital carnage say their sales are rising....more