PDN Photo of the Day

Reviving the Independent Bookstore

Bryan David Griffith‘s documentation of America’s remaining independent bookstores is a self-funded labor of love. “The Last Bookstores: America’s Resurgent Independents” includes images of bookstores, the people who operate and frequent them, as well as interviews with owners and staff. “The booksellers I met are passionately committed to sustaining their local communities and keeping the flame of literary culture alive,” Griffith says on his website. “Far from giving up, they’re fighting back.” Griffith says the number of members in the American Bookseller’s Association has grown, a little anyway, from 2010 to 2013, from 1,410 member stores to 1,632 in 2013, representing the first steady increase in 20 years. With the age of digital books as well as digital photography, Griffith is intentionally shooting this project using analogue large and medium-format cameras. A few of the films he’s used so far have already been discontinued. Griffith is continuing to work on the project, and is scheduled for an exhibition opening January 2015 at the Griffin Museum of Photography outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

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  1. What an outstanding project Bryan! You may remember us, your old neighbors from Brookwood. We’ve been following you and salute your success! These photos are wonderful!

  2. My book store was within15 minutes of closing. We’d sold all the books and all the bookshelves. We were about to turn in the key and leave the mall forever. But we had not yet sold two big display tables or any of the computers, cash registers, etc. In those last 15 minutes, we decided to fight one more time. We rented some of the kiosk space in the middle of the mall and built a “store” there. We are now thriving. A book store, these days, is not so much as business as it is a crusade. Thank you for these gorgeous photos. They give me strength to keep on fighting.

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