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Updated Jun 13, 2014 - 9:19 pm

Final Word: Big-box bookstores dying but maybe indies can survive

Are bookstores dead?

You might think so, with the closures of so many of the large chain stores in recent years in Phoenix. Barnes and Noble just announced that its store in the Ahwatukee village in southeast Phoenix is closing Aug. 2.

The Borders at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Mesa and the Biltmore closed a few years ago.

I used to love a lazy bookstore night. I would wander around, pick up books I thought I might like to read, drink coffee, peruse calendars. Those nights were the best.

I don’t have much time for that anymore, but if I did, where would I go? Wait … is that a NEW bookstore uptown?

It might as well be a unicorn, but it’s true. Changing Hands Bookstore has opened a spot at Third Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.

Changing Hands is a bookstore (new and used ones) that has been in Tempe for what seems like forever. The new store will sell more than books — it will have beer and wine, too, at its First Draft bar.

Aha. Now we have it. Do you need to sell alcohol to get people to look at your books?

Maybe. And if so, fine. I think book stores are good for us, as individuals and as a community. If it takes a tap behind the cash register, so be it.

I can’t wait to check out the new Changing Hands.

Long live the bookstore.

And, of course, wine.

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