Independent bookstores thrive on L.I.

When Amazon released the first Kindle in 2008, many thought the four horsemen of the book apocalypse had come to destroy print. The end of traditional books was nigh. Despite their initial proliferation, according to a 2015 article in The New York Times, e-book sales fell by 10% in the first few months of 2015 and they only accounted for 20% of total book sales during 2014.

As e-book sales fall and the popularity of print returns, so, too, do its brick and mortar counterparts. When bookselling giant Borders folded in 2011, it seemed as though bookstores were going the way of record and video stores. Data suggests, though, that since its demise there has been a dramatic increase in independent bookstore openings. A Slate article cited a study done by the American Booksellers Association that found that the number of independent bookstores had increased by 20% between 2009 and 2014.

Here on Long Island, newer independent sellers have joined some old favorites. The Book Revue in Huntington has been around since 1977 and draws readers in with a selection or new and used books, as well as frequent author events. This month, Book Revue is welcoming New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci for a reading and book singing. Other independent bookstores have expanded their non-book product offerings, featuring gift sections that are nearly as big as certain genres.

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One independent seller on Long Island has broadened its appeal in a different way: alcohol. Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine in Rockville Centre opened in 2015 and is owned by former Borders employees Carol Hoenig and Peggy Ziera. The store not only sells books, but has a beer, wine, and food menu.

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“The community and those outside of the community absolutely love what we have done,” Hoenig said. “The publishers are thrilled as well, since we are events driven and love to host authors for their books.”

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