That said, I noticed an interesting article in the Houston Chronicle this morning about one of Houston's most unique independent bookstores, Majors Books. Majors is located in the heart of the Houston Medical Center area and has served the medical profession down there very well since 1954. According to the article, though, Majors was actually founded in Dallas over 100 years ago. Obviously things are tougher for Majors in this Amazon.com age, but the stores have adapted and are hanging on pretty nicely.
In the age of Amazon.com, it’s hard being a family-owned bookstore. But Majors Books has managed to survive for a century by offering special services to its customers, opening the store to events and adapting to the online world....
It resembles a model that the American Booksellers Association believes other independent bookstores should follow if they want to survive in this digital age of Kindles and iPods, where books can be purchased and downloaded in seconds.
Majors’ two stores, in Houston and Dallas, are among the largest medical bookstores in the U.S. Majors also sells medical equipment and scrubs.
Despite the emergence of medical information on the Internet, many health science professionals still prefer a book, said Roger Torres, the Houston store’s general manager.
“They still want to hold and feel a book, particularly the older doctors,” he said. “Just being able to pull out that book when you need it.”
Majors’ Houston and Dallas stores post combined annual sales in the $6 million range, he said.I've lived in Houston 37 years and have never been inside Majors Books - but I would grieve its loss to the community. Judging strictly by the tone of this article, Majors will be around for years to come..deservedly so, I think.
“The online challenge to independent bookstores is still strong,” stronger than what they face from major bookstore chains, said Meg Smith, spokeswoman for the American Booksellers Association.
“The independents still doing well have strong ties to the community and regularly hold events in the stores,” she said.