Diversity makes for a great story.
In addition to Yu and Me Books, the article highlights more than half a dozen other bookstores thriving in their communities, each one committed to greater representation and started by owners who represent the very communities they are working to serve.
The Salt Eaters Bookshop in Inglewood, California specializes in books by and about Black women, girls, and nonbinary people.
The Libros Bookmobile, a Latina-owned mobile bookstore in a converted school bus in Taylor, Texas offers fiction in Spanish and English.
Reader’s Block, a Black-owned bookshop in Stratford, Connecticut where “people come for a cure… about books, culture, and anything else they feel they need to bring to the table.”
Pocket Books Shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, “an eclectic feminist bookstore,” started by three friends with a passion for reading, inclusion, and friendship.
Socialight Society in Lansing, Michigan carrying a curated collection of 300 titles by Black authors — the vast majority of them women.
Just as the voices of many authors of color and immigrants are increasingly finding an audience, now the bookstores where they can be found are also flourishing. In an industry long in need of greater diversity, opportunity, and availability for minority and marginalized groups, the growth of independents is a welcome next chapter. Who knows? They might even carry one of our favorites.
This is how challenger brands work. They look at the world differently than the category leaders. They often represent new perspectives and deliver completely new experiences for consumers constantly on the hunt for something different. While estimates suggest there are 500,000 to a million new titles published in the United States each year, all this new growth suggests there are still plenty of points of view and stories to be explored. That’s more than a good thing. It’s a great thing. And why, just like bookstores, challenger brands are more relevant and exciting than ever.
Here are some great lists of the country’s best independent bookstores:
18 of the Best Independent Bookstores to Visit Across the United States
The Best Independent Bookstores Across the U.S.
30 Cool Indie Bookstores Across The Country That You’ll Want To Check Out
50 of the Best Indie Bookstores in America
25 Independent Bookstores We Love
20 of the Coolest Bookstores in America