The Last Bookstores: Photos from across the country

Bryan David Griffith: The Last Bookstores: America’s Resurgent Independents examines bookstores across the country (PHOTOS)..

As you face the barrage of Black Friday ads today and for Cyber Monday, do not forget your local Independent bookstore for your gift-giving needs. Those stores need our business and support. And this collection of photos of such bookstores from around the country (posted Nov.19, 2014) remind us of just how special these local stores are. Why not find your way to one in your neighborhood in the next few weeks.

Opening in 2008, we had the extraordinary benefit of assuming—This collection by Bryan Griffith even included one of the Bookbug store in Kalamazoo, MI (pic above), one with which I am not familiar. Can you believe it?! Looks like I need to make a trip to Kalamazoo 🙂 A good one in the Grand Rapids area is Schuler Books & Music, which also includes a large used book section and a wonderful cafe.

Here’s the introduction to the photo collection, the link to which is above. Enjoy!

Like the independent bookstores he photographs, Bryan David Griffith is a bit of a throwback. He does have an email address, but if you want to reach him on the phone, you have to dial a landline, and most likely track him down through his answering machine. His yearlong project covering more than 20 independent bookstores around the country was photographed with a large-format film camera; he travels to each location from his home in Arizona via a makeshift camper in which he sleeps, loads film, and stores his equipment.

“I’m kind of old-school,” he said. “I have an engineering degree, so it’s not like I’m a technophobe. I just haven’t adopted technologies that don’t enrich my quality of life.”

One of those things he doesn’t want to see leave are the independent bookstores, a business he views as a lot more than simply a place to buy books—they’re a meeting place away from the often segregated, homogenous world of social media.

“You’re going to encounter other people who work there or who will be there by chance who might have different experiences than you do,” he said. “I think that’s a healthy thing for our society to interact with and make friends with people who have different ideas than what we do.”

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