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Can Local, Indie Bookstores Survive SF's Rising Rents?

Photo via Ervin Vice/<a href="">Flickr</a>
Photo via Ervin Vice/Flickr

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It's not a new story: bookstores are struggling in an era of Amazon Prime and digital books. But perhaps some of the blame is misplaced. SFBG reports that ebook readership growth is down, and SF stores like Green Apple Books, Dog Eared Books, and Bibliohead are consistently posting profits. But why then are the latter two of those three in danger of losing their locations?

"You can talk about e-readers, and people being distracted. You can talk about people slipping out since the Gutenberg press was invented, and all that's true, sure," Kate Rosenberger, Dog Eared's store owner, tells SFBG. "But when you get hit with a huge increase in your rent, how do you deal with that? When the lease is up, you can pretty much figure you're gone."

So it's less about readers buying online and more about the city's ongoing real estate crunch. But nonetheless, some of the city's best are in danger. And this city's landscape would be very sad, indeed, without neighborhood bookstores. Lend your support by popping into your local indie bookstore and stocking up on some summer reads. And let's be real, flipping pages at the beach really does feel better than tapping yet another screen.
· Last chapters? [San Francisco Bay Guardian]
· Green Apple Books Recommends Beach Reads for 2014 [Racked SF]
· Dog Eared Books Recommends Beach Reads for Summer 2014 [Racked SF]