WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Past And Future Of Big Box Bookstores

Barnes & Noble recently announced it will close nearly 300 bookstores over the coming decade. D.C.'s Georgetown outpost closed last year and the Union Station store is shuttering at the end of this month. While some cheer the downsizing of a perceived corporate giant, others are lamenting the loss of a gathering place in the community to discover new books and meet with friends. We consider the past and uncertain future of chain bookstores.

Independent Vs. Chain Bookstores In D.C.

Last month, Barnes & Noble announced plans to shutter up to a third of its 689 brick-and-mortar bookstores over the next decade. In D.C., the retail group is already whittling its operations -- the Georgetown location closed its doors last year and the Union Station store is slated to shut down later this week. But readers have many options when it comes to buying books, as the number of independently-owned booksellers in the district vastly outnumbers the number of chain stores. University bookstores (not mapped here) only add to the shopping choices.

Find a bookstore in the map below. Red signifies a chain bookstore, blue signifies an independent one. What's your favorite bookstore? Let us know in the comments.

View Independent vs. Chain Bookstores in D.C. in a larger map


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