There used to be bookstores in every town. There were mother and father and then the giants. Each offered a wealth of mystery, romance, drama, history, entertainment, education and more.
Then the Internet came along and many of these stores went bankrupt and closed, leaving people unable to find their favorite places.
But if you ask the right people, they'll tell you the bookstore never went away. While mom and dad have been through tough times and several big boxes have also struggled, there are some bookstores that have thrived.
To determine the largest bookstores, we considered a combination of factors. Sales and revenue are obviously key factors and it should be noted that brick and mortar internet sales are included in this overview.
Bookstores often sell things other than books, and these products are often part of the printed or written word, but music has also become an expensive commodity for bookstores. They also transitioned from selling new books to selling used books.
33 East 17th Street
New York, NY10003
Barnes Noble once boasted of having the largest bookstore in the world. From themNew YorkLocated at 105 Fifth Avenue, the store was 154,250 square feet and had 12.87 miles of shelves stocked with brand new books ready for sale.
This location was the bookstore's flagship location, but it didn't last long. It closed in January 2014. With that, Barnes Noble was stripped of the title. The company rebounded and now claims to be the largest bookstore on the web.
Are they officially the greatest? There's no definitive answer to that, but they have over a million titles in their e-book catalogue.
In an attempt to keep up with the competition, Barnes Noble expanded its in-store offerings to include a broader range of products, primarily videos, toys and children's products, games and other printed materials. They have a huge online store as well as great deals in their physical bookstores.
4601 26th Avenue NO
When we talk about online book sales, it's important to mention the giant in the room. Amazon is the biggest bookworld traderwith a catalog of over 33 million titles and they will ship them anywhere.
But it's the actual stores that interest us. This internet giant can be blamed for changing the bookstore landscape and almost causing the brick-and-mortar bookstore to collapse.
However, they turned around and opened their own physical stores. You now have real physical storesArizona, California,Colorado, District ofColumbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts,New Jersey, New York, Oregon,Tennessee, Texas eWashington, where they opened their first store.
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1005 West Burnside St.
It's not just national brands that get recognition for their sales and success. Powell's Books claims it is the largest independent bookstore in the world. if you don't liveOregon, You may not know this bookstore, but if you've been to it before, chances are you're a huge fan of this bookseller giant.
Powell's began in Chicago when college student Michael Powell opened the first store in 1970. His father, Walter, helped Michael and loved the business so much that he opened his own antique shop in Portland, Oregon.
Eventually, Michael moved back to Portland and closed the Chicago location. Today there are three locations in Oregon owned and operated by third generation Powells.
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Or the Hudson Group
East Rutherford, Nova-Jersey07073
If you've ever walked into a Hudson News store at an airport and bought a brochure for your flight, you're visiting one of the largest bookstores in the United States (although the store you visited was probably extremely small). The company operates more than 970 stores across the country.
Its history begins with its foundation in 1918, the company was incorporated in 1926 and has been owned by Dunfry AG, Basel, Switzerland since 2008.
While books make up a large part of their business, they also operate convenience and travel essentials stores, duty-free shops, electronics stores, themed stores, and food and beverage stores.
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Half price books
6803 E. Northwest Hwy.
Let's talk about a real giant; Half Price Books is America's largest family bookstore. Since 1972, this company has been committed to books, literacy andthe local churcheswhere your stores are located.
Their beginnings are as sweet as some of the stories they sell. Two book-loving friends opened an antique shop in an old laundromat, unaware of the appeal their "We Buy Books" ads would bring.
Today they have over 120 stores in every state and a significant web presence. They specialize in creating a homely atmosphere in their stores that is reminiscent of classic family businesses. And they keep their original concept of donating to the community and promoting literacy.
402 Industrial Ln.
BAM to its followers, Books-A-Million began as a corner newsstand in 1917. With its base stillFlorence, Alabama, this company is a fixture in the southeastern United States.
The stores are on the larger side, ranging from 4,000 to 30,000 square feet. They now sell much more than just books with a good range of gifts, toys, technology and even a restaurant offering featuring Joe Muggs® Cafe.
The company didn't just grow from selling books and newspapers; It currently prides itself on being the second largest bookseller in the country.
The book distribution and wholesale subsidiary American Wholesale Book Company and the e-commerce business are primarily responsible for thisyour great success.
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San Francisco, California94107
Books, Inc. cedes claims of being the largest store or retailer to others. Their claim to fame is that they are the oldest independent bookseller in the west. Its history dates back to 1851 and the gold rush daysCalifornia.
GoldBergmannAnton Roman has obviously struck gold, leaving gold to focus on words. He opened his first book shop in the town of Shasta, but that shop has since burned down, been moved, sold and is now gone. What came out of that store was a 1946 franchise called Books Inc.
Today, Books Inc. has ten reputable locations throughout California and likes to compete in today's economy.
Sede da Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
3330 E. Speedway Blvd.
With a buy, sell and trade mentality, Bookmans has found a way to survive in the book retailing world. But they deal with a lot more than books these days.
In fact, they list these items as those they buy and then resell: books, magazines, comics, music, movies, video games, musical instruments, electronics, housewares, and more.
Bookmans began in 1976 when Bob Oldfather opened his first store in Tucson. Now, more than 40 years later, the business has grown into a six-building chain and is committed to being an integral part of every community in which they live.
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Deseret Book Company
55 N. 300 W
Salt Lake City, Utah84101
The Deseret Book Company is owned by a holding company controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Business began in 1919 when two booksellers whose roots traced back to the same man merged.
Later, in 2004, Deseret Book acquired Excel Entertainment Group, known for producing LDS film productions and making some records. The company has a wide range, but everything it produces has a religious aspect.
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United Methodist Publishing House
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Another religious bookseller is Cokesbury. They consider themselves retail andCustomer Service Armvon United Methodist Publishing.
They offer over 300,000 unique products, including books and other written materials, and also claim to reach wide ecumenical audiences around the world.
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Although Americans still love to read, statistics show that they are reading less than in the past. This, combined with the proliferation of e-books and online book buying, is a big factor in the decline of the traditional bookstore.
Interestingly, with many major bookstores such as Borders, B. Dalton, Book World, and others having collapsed in the last decade or two, there seems to be a shift. The New York Times recently wrote an article about how the tiny bookstore is becoming a trend again. People love authenticity and nostalgia.
Likewise, the American Booksellers Association has reported an increase in sales by independent bookstores. This is great news for readers and people who like itSupportregional companies.
But it looks like the superstores of the literary world are in jeopardy. They can still add products to their lineup, but that may not be enough.