Independent bookstores show they are a growth industry

10:01 PM, May 28, 2013   |    comments
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EXCELSIOR, Minn. -- If ever there were a matchmaker, a fixer upper for the right book to the right person it would without a doubt be Ellie Temple at Excelsior Bay Books.

"I am old school, I graduated from librarian school in 1960," Ellie said from the store Tuesday.

For 17 years Ellie has been the un-official librarian of Excelsior fueled not by a economy of sale but by unrequited love for words on a page.

"I just can't imagine a tenth grade girl not just loving this book," Ellie said flipping thru the pages of her latest favorite book.

It's that kind of loyalty experts are pointing to for the independent bookstores rise from the ashes.

That coupled with big box book dealer Borders closing its stores and flattening sales on e-readers.

Those things were not forecast five years ago by the industry.

"I've tried to stay in the 20th century rather than advance to the 21st century and as a result I didn't have those same worries," Ellie said with a grin.

In Wayzata, The Bookcase has been the bookshelf for its customers for 50 years.

"Things are pretty good, not great but we are hanging in there," store manager Nancy Caffoe said of sales there.

In other words, the doors are open, the shelves are full but it isn't a money tree.

What it is, and what keeps it viable, is that people didn't give up on it in Nancy's opinion.

"I think it's important I think it's an important piece of community unlike anything else," Caffoe said.

Summer Book List: Ellie Temple/Excelsior Bay Books
Maya's Notebook by Isable Allende
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The President's Club by Nancy Gibbs
The Secretary by Kim Ghattas
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

Young Adult Novels
Wonder by P.J. Palacio
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Summer Book List: Nancy Caffoe/The Bookcase
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

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