The Shop Around the Corner

How does an independent bookshop not only survive, but remain vital amid the encroaching chains? How does a tightly-knit community bolster its authors in a cut-throat industry? Independent bookshop owner Heidi Hallett has tackled both these issues by doing what the best independent shopkeepers do – opting for the intimate, the local.

As this recent Globe and Mail article explains, Hallett’s Halifax bookshop, Frog’s Hollow, has its fortunes interwoven with that of her community. By hosting book launches and in-store author appearances of regional scribes, Hallett keeps her dream alive: “Local literature is a vital part of our culture here, and I am concerned that if more independent bookstores like mine start going under, we risk losing that history and heritage forever.”

is a writer in Toronto, Canada, and passes his days as a copy editor with The Globe and Mail. He spends his moments of leisure listening to music, reading, watching films and prowling the streets of Toronto, and he feels that he is long-overdue for a vacation so that he can do more of those things. At any given time, he is probably pining for distant shores and really should do more traveling and less pining.

One comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this, Andrew. As a webmaster at an independent bookstore, I was especially interested in the part of the article dealing with the website (which I immediately googled and found it difficult to locate…not good). The big question for any indie store is how to leverage its uniqueness and "localness" on the web, which, by its nature, isn't local but global.

    At Vroman's, we have hundreds of events each year, many of which focus on local authors. It's a winning combination, as local authors tend to draw larger crowds than all but the highest profile national authors and tend to sell more books, as well. But again, how to translate that to a website is a difficult thing.

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