How To Run A Neighbourhood Bookstore

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Even while we spend more of our days staring at screens and do more of our shopping on Amazon, book sales are actually rising at independent bookstores.

Novelist Emma Fusco-Straub and her husband Mike opened Cobble Hill shop Books Are Magic in 2017, and have drawn customers in every day since, with a charming children’s room in the back, a trim and trendy adult collection up front, and nightly readings, signings, and other events. In the video below, we talk to Emma about how to make a local bookstore a community gathering spot.

When she started Books Are Magic, Emma had already worked as a writer, teacher, and bookseller, so she was familiar with the many parts of the literary world that come together at a bookstore, and she had plenty of support from all parts of the book industry.

What she and Mike had to learn was how to keep up the energy to run a store morning to evening, and how to maintain that while raising children and continuing Emma’s career as a writer.

Disclosure: Through the deeply connected New York publishing scene, Emma and Mike are friends of interviewer Nick Douglas (and even hired the same carpenter to build their custom bookshelves). This video was arranged by Lifehacker video producer Abu Zafar.


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