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September 18th, 2008, 3:06 pm
The Municipal Art Society’s Urban Center Books helped launch the newly formed Independent Booksellers of New York City this past weekend at the Brooklyn Book Festival, celebrating this new alliance that promotes independent bookstores across the city with a map and a website.
Independent bookstores contribute greatly to the city’s rich character and long tradition of book-selling by providing shelf space for voices that might not otherwise find a home and by serving as venues for the presentation of important works and new ideas. Recognizing the common opportunities, virtues and values they share, New York City’s independent booksellers have united to raise awareness of the contributions their stores make not just to the local economy, but to the literary and cultural fabric of the city.
At a time when globalization threatens retail diversity and the publishing industry continues to consolidate, the role of the independent bookseller in guiding the reading public has never mattered more. In particular, the community-based shops of New York City – new and used, specialized and general – which constitute the largest concentration of independent book retail in the country.
To prove that the independent bookstore – a touchstone of New York City life – is here to stay, we are encouraging New Yorkers to shop local and help contribute to New York’s social, cultural and economic well-being. Book lovers can access an online map, links to member stores, and a newsletter sign up form at http://ibnyc.org/, or visit Urban Center Books for your copy of the map to independent bookstores in New York City.
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