Small book business thrive as Barnes & Noble closes chapter

FAIRWAY, Kan. - Local mom and pop bookstores in Kansas City explain how they continue to thrive in a world of growing e-book sales.

Just this week, book giant Barnes & Noble bookstores announced it is closing a chapter in sales.

The retail store chain plans to downsize. It will close as many as a third of its retail stores during the next decade.

Sales have largely dried up as more consumers shift to digital books.

Developers have also stopped opening new malls, so Barnes & Noble only opened two new stores this year.
   
Fairway's Rainy Day Books, a small business that has thrived since 1975, said its success comes from
its connection to the community.

"We're out in the community almost every single day with the author events that we do," Owner Vivien Jennings said. "So that experience we provide for the community there is a tremendous amount of support that is thrown back to us."

However, Jennings said when customers buy online it not only hurts small business, but also government.

"It is huge," Jennings said. "Twenty years of online retailers not collecting sales tax. You look
at all the things that are going away, school libraries, police budgets, fire budgets, roads, bridges .. all these things. There's a reason for that."

Jennings said Rainy Day's author events attract big personalities, from George W. Bush to domestic diva Martha Stewart.

Those unique events have endeared the store to locals and countless national authors.
     
 

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