Madison Park book store celebrates grand opening

SEATTLE -- A book store in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood celebrated its grand opening over the weekend, and it drew quite the crowd.

In the world of Amazon and other big box chains, you might be thinking 'How?' and 'Why?' The people behind Madison Books, 4118 E Madison St., say it's about community.

Manager James Crossley says he worked for Amazon back when they only sold books.

"We’re not in the same version that anymore," he said. "They sell subscription services and web things and products too, but we’re in the business of bringing interesting books to people, helping them discover things they didn’t already hear about that aren’t necessarily on the best seller lists."

And you may be thinking, how can a brick and mortar book store thrive in the city of tech?

"It’s a tech community but it's also a reading community. And there’s people who work at Amazon who like to shop at independent bookstores so we welcome everybody," Crossley said.

During the late '90s and 2000s, many tiny book stores faced serious pressure from big box chains. Recently, though, things have taken a turn for the better. The Wall Street Journal reports that independent stores are making a strong comeback, with the number of locations rising from over 1,600 to well over 2,400.

"Not as many as there were 40-50 years ago because of all the changes, but over the past decade the numbers have grown again because people respond to this sort of thing," Crossley said. "Just like farmers markets are thriving people like to know where they are getting their stuff from and book stores have been the end guard of that."