Noting that "some small retailers have found a way to not just survive but thrive in this new landscape," Maine Public checked in with a pair of indie bookstores for a report headlined "In the Age of Amazon, Independent Maine Retailers Aren't Extinct."
"Local people want to have a bookstore in town and so they understand that they have to patronize it in order for that to happen," said Beth Leonard, co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick.
Gary Lawless, the bookshop's other owner, added: "It's tactile. People like to see and hold books, but they also come here for conversation I think. Beth for a while after the recent election said we were doing book therapy. People were coming here because it's a place where they could go and talk about how they felt in a public space."
Steve Fischer, the executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association, agreed: "People are hungry for gathering places, and bookstores represent maybe even more so than their local libraries a place where you feel safe, where people coming in are interested in ideas and reading."
At recently opened Print: A Bookstore in Portland, co-owner Josh Christie noted: "Our customers in Portland... [are] very understanding of buy local movements and the fact of, this is something that is kind of implicit but we explain if we're asked about, the fact that we contribute to the tax base here in Portland."