Unchained Success, A Big Box Closes and an Indy Survives

Signs on the doors of two Coolidge Corner bookstores told a tale challenging the conventional wisdom. The one at Barnes & Noble said “Closed.” The one on the independent Brookline Booksmith welcomed the chain’s customers and solicited their suggestions. Now, three months after Barnes & Noble departed, Booksmith savors modest growth in the midst of a recession that’s battering most retailers. Boston.com.

“I do think there’s a swing back to valuing local and independent,” said Booksmith manager Dana Brigham. “Small and local can be good places to do business and very healthy for your community.”

Customer Paul Toomey, a 40-year-old banker perusing Lonely Planet’s guide to Africa said “I like the idea of supporting a local store. It doesn’t feel like a McDonald’s when you walk in.”