SUPPORT Independent Bookstores

Julie Marie Frances DeVoe, Copy Editor

Supporting local bookstores help owners thrive and help aid the community by giving back to the economy. In the Hudson County area, there are three independent bookstores: The Little Boho Bookshop, Little City Books and WORD. Each one of these brings their own individuality and has a story behind it.

Independent bookstores serve the community differently than chain bookshops and gives customers another place to call home.

Sandra Dear, the owner of The Little Boho Bookshop in Bayonne, opened her store in 2017. She said her “lifelong dream of wanting to open a bookshop and working in the publishing industry for 15 years” were the reasons why she opened the book shop. While COVID had a substantial impact on the community, Dear said that “we will be grateful to have survived 2020-2021 and look forward to 2022.” She is looking forward to reading Island Queen by Vanessa Riley and she planned on starting to read it on the night of July 20th.

Little City Books in Hoboken was opened in 2015 by Kate Jacobs and Donna Garban. Jacobs said, “our customers are loyal and supported us all the way,” in response to how they did during the COVID pandemic. She said that she “looks forward to reading Susan Orlean’s book On Animals,” which will be published this fall.

Vincent Onorati, the co-owner of WORD said that he opened up the location with his wife seven years ago in Jersey City because “friends and family lived there, and they felt that they had a chance to open a bookstore there since there had not been any bookstores in Jersey City.” The original WORD bookstore was opened 14 years ago in Brooklyn. He is excited to read Spike by Spike Lee when it is released in November.

Unlike The Little Boho Bookshop and Little City Books, WORD bookstores were closed for approximately 4 months from March 15th to July 15th and had a “20-30% decline in sales.” However, “online sales spiked so it was a big adjustment to fill online orders and curbside pick-up.”

Interestingly, Dear, Jacobs, and Onorati all said that e-books are not considered a threat to their bookstores at this time because most people prefer print copies instead.