By Chris Michlewicz; photo courtesy of Sudden Fiction Books
For those who don’t consume content on Netflix, cable TV or the internet, books are essential in times like these.
The U.S. has seen an uptick in book sales since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. According to NPD BookScan, the print book market accelerated over the summer, notching a 5.5 % gain over the same time period in 2019. It’s on track to have one of its best years since NPD BookScan started tracking book data in 2004. But the sales increase seems to have largely benefited Amazon.
What some consumers might not know is they can often order books online through independent book retailers, or stop by a brick-and-mortar store in their community to grab their desired title, current or classic.
While sales might not have skyrocketed at locally-owned shops, they have remained steady. Melissa Foley, who owns Poor Richard’s Book Shoppe in downtown Parker with her husband, Mark, said they have received good feedback and support from the community since reopening their doors May 1, with distancing and mask rules in place.
“I feel like lately more people have come in that have never been in before,” Foley said. “There hasn’t been a tremendous increase in sales, but I think we’re hanging in there.”
Gina McReynolds, co-owner of Sudden Fiction Books on Perry Street in Castle Rock, said their store only started to see a return to normalcy in September, but she has noticed a trend.
“Our customer base is choosing to shop here intentionally and support us through COVID,” she said.
Independent bookstores are back to hosting events and author appearances – some outdoors and with social distancing guidelines enforced, as well as offering coffee in their shops. While some stores do offer online purchases, others provide direct message ordering from social media pages and curbside pickup.
Independent book retailers within a 30-mile radius of Castle Pines:
Sudden Fiction Books:
221 Perry St., Castle Rock, 80104, 303-856-8181
Poor Richard’s Book Shoppe:
19402 Mainstreet #5, Parker, 80138, 720-851-9349
Books Are Awesome:
11211 Dransfeldt Rd. #101, Parker, 80134, 303-357-8240
Tattered Cover Aspen Grove:
7301 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, 80129, 303-470-7050
Covered Treasures Bookstore:
105 2nd St., Monument, 80132,