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In The News

The Case for Local Bookstores
It's time you paid your neighborhood bookseller a visit

By Erica Thoits

New Hampshire Magazine

Local Bookstores Books matter. More specifically, real books matter. Paper, glue and ink — holding the physical product of someone’s imagination in your hands beats a screen any day. Technology that expands access to reading and knowledge is a wonderful thing, but in our zeal for the next new, shiny thing, we shouldn’t forget the power of the actually written word.

If you can be convinced to put the Kindle down for a moment, then here’s what you should do next — resist the lure of Amazon’s “Buy now with one click!” button and go to an independent bookstore.

Blockbuster blinked out of existence with the digitization of movies, yet bookstores remain. New Hampshire is no exception — in fact, we have a rich history of bookselling here in the Granite State.

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White Birch Books Delights Readers with Friendly Staff and Great Selection

NH Homes Magazine

In recent years we may have seen the rise of electronic readers but according to a 2016 study released by the Pew Research Center, print book are still way more popular among American readers versus their mobile counterparts. That's good news for bookstores such as White Birch Books of North Conway, which has been the town's local independent bookstore for nearly a quarter century.

"White Birch Books is a local independent bookstore that services our local community as well as the many visitors to the area," says owner Laura Cummings. "We've been here for 24 years and counting. Our staff is friendly, personable and engaging. We all love what we do and I think it shows everyday.

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Community keeps them alive: An Interview with an Independent Bookseller

By: Brianna Meagher

North Conway, NH – Owning an independent bookstore isn’t easy, especially today, but according to bookstore owner Laura Cummings, it’s worth it. Cummings owns White Birch Books located in the tourist town of North Conway, N. H. She purchased the store back in 2005 from Donna Urey, the founder of White Birch Books, after realizing her Chamber of Commerce job might not be the right fit for her and her lifestyle. She started when Urey “offered [her] a part time job” and she said that talk began immediately about her buying the store in the near future. But it hasn’t all been easy for Cummings. She purchased the store right before what she referred to as a “perfect storm of nastiness as far as being a bookseller goes.” What she’s talking about here is a combination of a recession, the advent of online sellers like Amazon, and large chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble. The late 2000s were a rough time for independent booksellers and many stores closed their doors during this time. Cummings said that she survived “by the skin of [her] teeth and you know a little bit of infusions, some cash infusions from family” and she said that she “wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.” Her family and the community surrounding her are the reason that White Birch Books is still around and thriving
today.

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