SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s often hard to get people to actually come into a store, but then it gets even tougher to get shoppers in the smaller stores. Independent bookstores may be slightly reversing a trend.
According to the American Booksellers Association, in the mid-90s to 2009, 40 percent of independent bookstores closed. Last year, sales were up more than five percent, and one local bookstore says they’ve seen that.
“I think appreciation of small businesses, and what they do, the uniqueness or our space, the knowledge that we bring, the cats that are involved,” E. Shaver Bookseller owner Jessica Osborne said.
Yes, she said cats, as there are four in the Savannah bookstore. She knows they have to be unique, like the cats.
There is also a rare and collectible book room, where you use a typewriter, leave a poem or anything else you feel like writing.
Shaver’s is just one of at least three small bookstores in the Historic District. The other two are mainly used books, but they all must fight for that walk-in customer in an online world.
“We have to visible, we have to be involved in the going ons about town, we really want people to have that small intimate bookshop experience, to really give them a book that they love, to put a book in someone’s hands and know that you’ve given them a gift, it’s just, there’s no other feeling like it in the world,” Osborne said.