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Another Day, Another Indie Done Gone

micawber-books.jpg

NYT book culture reporter Julie Bosman heads out to Princeton, where Micawber Books was recently sold to the university, as owner Logan Fox (above, photographed by Laura Pedrick for the Times) can apparently no longer bear the decline of civilization as evidenced by his staffer’s preference for reality TV over great literature as conversational fodder. Also, nobody takes the time to browse aimlessly anymore. And don’t forget the superstores, and publishers’ incessant appetite for big hits…

There’s a silver lining to this story, though: Bosman adds that in acquiring the Micawber building, Princeton plans to bring in another independent bookseller, Labyrinth Books, to open a bigger store in a nearby location. (Labyrinth is described in the article as “a scholarly chain,” which makes me wonder if two outlets—okay, soon to be three—is enough to call oneself a “chain.”) Back in December, Shelf Awareness had more details on the transition, describing how Princeton’s current university bookstore would phase out that element of its retail business to give Labyrinth an extra boost. They also caught Fox at a much happier moment; back then, he said he was “extremely pleased to come to this agreement, so that now we can pursue other dreams and interests.”

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