Indies Are an 'Investment that Our Towns Should Be Making'
"But what I am is a former bookseller who now spends my days talking about what it takes to make our communities financially stronger. As someone who's been a student of cities for years--as well as someone who's spent a 13-hour day managing a signing line for Chuck Palahniuk--the longer I study, the more I believe that independent bookstores have a lot to teach us. They are a case study in the power of small, incrementally-built retail to anchor our local economies and social communities. And in my years since stepping out from behind the counter, I've come to believe something even more radical: if we want our places to be strong, third places like independent bookstores are exactly the kind of investment that our towns should be making. And we should be making them way more often."