Independent Bookstores

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Independent bookstores have been an unexpected comeback story of the past decade. Since the 2008 recession, their numbers have grown nationally by about 50 percent, according to industry statistics – something most observers wouldn’t have predicted in the age of Amazon. Pittsburgh alone now has a dozen or more such bookshops.

Courtesy of Karen Lillis

Among retail survivors of the era of big-box stores and online commerce, one of the more unlikely is the independent bookstore. A decade ago, many of Pittsburgh’s bookshops had been driven out by national chains, and the subsequent rise of web-based retailers like Amazon boded ill for any remaining brick-and-mortar outlets.