A special one-hour edition of Bookmarked: The Under the Radar Book Club. Today, 'Saving Bookstores.'

When COVID-19 forced shutdowns in March, independent bookstores saw an immediate 8 percent overall drop in book sales from last year. But soon Americans returned to reading and buying books. However, some bookstores were forced to close before they could benefit from the uptick in sales. Others are still struggling to recover - scrambling to adapt so they can live to fight another day. Hundreds of independent bookstores have closed their doors for good - one a week according to a recent survey by the American Booksellers Association. But some local bookstores are making it work. We talk to three local independent bookstore owners, during Part One of the show.


Christina Ciampa, owner of theAll She Wrote Books in Somerville, Mass.

Kate Layte, owner of Papercuts Bookshop in Boston, Mass.

Matt Tannenbaum, owner of The Bookstore in Lenox, Mass.

And featuring Leonard and Clarrissa Egerton, the husband and wife owners of Roxbury’s Frugal Bookstore, the only Black-owned bookstore in Boston, Mass.

Later in the show:

Maybe you’ve seen the national ad campaign called “Don’t Box Out Bookstores.” It’s an effort by the American Booksellers Association to encourage book lovers and bookstore supporters to buy independent, especially this holiday season. Earlier in the show, we heard from three local bookstore owners about how they are managing to survive. Now two guests who are working toward the long-term existence of independent bookstores.


Alex Meriweather, general manager of the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass.

Sarah High, partnerships manager of Bookshop.org, a new national organization a bringing together bookstores across the country.