Bookstore hopes to beat the odds

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – There are 17 new jobs in Chesterfield thanks to a brand new bookstore.

The grand opening Thursday will come despite a book store industry struggling to compete with new technology.

Lack of customers caused Left Bank Books to close its downtown location, and in recent years the region has lost Borders and multiple Barnes and Noble bookstores. There's no question that bookstores have been harmed by the growing popularity of e-books, downloaded from the internet, and the explosive growth of

A brand new bookstore in Chesterfield is bucking the trend of store closings

"I feel like a lot of the talk about the death of books has been exaggerated," said Tony Warmus, district manager for Half Price Books.

Half Price Books on Clarkson Road sells new books but also buys and sells used books, LPs, CDs, DVDs, And videotapes. There are 120 Half Price Bookstores around the country, including in Independence and Kansas City, Missouri.

"We think St. Louis is going to be a good market for us," said Warmus.

Business owner Michelle Barron has run the Book House for 30 years.

"I love it, I love the people. Every day is like Christmas, some days going through books," said Barron.

She worries that chains like Half Price are just the latest challenge for her Maplewood business.

"We're fighting against big superstores like Barnes and Noble, and Half Price Books, Amazon online who are all undercutting prices," said Barron.

With razor thin profit margins, all bookstores are trying to survive.

"Right now you download movies, you can download books if you want, but at some point you're going to want to go out and experience a bookstore," said Warmus.

Bought a good book lately? Local bookstores hope you'll drop in.


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