Independent bookselling expanded again in 2022, with new and diverse stores opening nationwide

NEW YORK (AP) — The independent bookselling community continues to grow, with membership in the American Booksellers Association reaching its highest levels in more than 20 years. Three years after the pandemic shut down most of the physical bookstores in the U.S. and the independent community feared hundreds might close permanently, the ABA has nearly 300 more members (under stricter rules for membership) than it did in 2019, the last full year before the spread of COVID-19. Allison Hill, CEO of the trade association, says “It speaks to a sea change coming out of the pandemic. Some new owners cite the rise in book bannings as the reason they went into bookstore ownership.