Penn Book Center

Professor Petitions University to Save Indie Bookstore

Independent bookstores have had their share of bumps in the road to resurgence, what with constant, ominous promises of ‘the death of the publishing industry’ and ‘the end of print media.’ While many of these claims are false, it’s true that some bookstores are in jeopardy. The latest shop to feel the heat is Penn Book Center in Pennsylvania.

WHYY reports that English professor Chi-Ming Yang has created an online petition to save the beloved bookstore after it was expected to close in May due to diminished sales.

“Instead of writing a letter of thank you to the bookstore owners for all of their service, I thought, it’s not over til it’s over,” Yang explains.


Penn Book Center

Image via WHYY


The petition calls for University of Pennsylvania, which owns the 50-year-old building that houses the store, to provide a financial boost.

This past week, Penn Book Center supporters have been marching daily from the campus to the bookstore just a block away. They’ve been rallying, sharing why the bookstore is important to them, and reminiscing about the books they’ve purchased.


Professor Yang

Image via WHYY


Yang herself describes browsing through an independent bookstore as a “mini-education:”

It’s not unlike being in the stacks of a library where the physicality of the spine of the book moves you to pick it up and where your eyes kind of travel to other books that you might not have ever considered. It opens up different vistas.

The petition has collected over 4,700 signatures so far, and is only moments away from its goal of 5,000.

Are you going to sign?




Featured Image via The Daily Pennsylvanian.