Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tough Time for Independent Bookstores

This week, three independent bookstores in the Indianapolis area announced that they will be closing. It's especially sad news for me, since one of them is The Mystery Company, owned by a good friend, Jim Huang. He is co-founder of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association and was co-chair of Bouchercon (the biggest annual mystery convention) last fall. He started his career at Spenser’s Mystery Books in Boston in 1987, and owned Deadly Passions Mystery Bookshop in Kalamazoo, Mich. from 1992-2000. I met Jim years ago at Bouchercon and regularly caught up with him at mystery conventions and events over many years. What a great supporter of the mystery genre he's been!  At least he isn't getting out of bookselling altogether. I understand he's taking a job with a college bookstore in Ohio. Good luck, Jim!

Last summer, my hometown indy, The Corner Bookstore also closed. It's really hard to watch it happen. Appears that online selling is the wave of the future, as even the large chain stores are struggling these days. At least, I'm happy to see that people are still reading--my own book sales have actually increased quite a bit with the new e-reading devices like Kindle and Nook. I'm very grateful to all my fans for that!

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