This February, two beloved independent Canadian bookstores announced that they are closing their doors. Oscar’s Art Books, a twenty-four-year-old bookstore based in Vancouver, will close shop at the end of March. On its Facebook page, Oscar’s wrote: “We’ve always moved with the times but unfortunately the internet has taken over.” After a thirty-one-year run, Toronto’s Cookbook Store will also close next month. On its website, the store says: “This past year has thrown more challenges to us than ever before. Never-ending, and ongoing, year-long road and utilities construction, extreme weather, online competition and the sale of the building for condominium development have had a devastating impact on our sales.”We hear all the time these days about brick-and-mortar bookstores closing down. And like Oscar’s and the Cookbook Store, many of them cite competition from online retailers (read, Amazon) as a significant issue. What makes the end of Oscar’s and the Cookbook Store particularly interesting is that they are both niche stores focusing on a particular subject.When big-box bookstores such as Chapters and Barnes and Noble emerged in North America about twenty years ago, niche bookstores were seen by many industry commentators as the future of independent brick-and-mortar bookselling. Their specialized nature enables employees of …read more

Via: Digital Book World