Having fallen behind on the rent, the locks have been changed at Marcus Books in San Francisco, the nation’s oldest continuously operating and independent Black-owned and Black-themed bookstore, and the bookstore has been evicted from their Fillmore Street location which was designated a city landmark earlier this year.
As a plugged-in reader wrote at the time the building was landmarked:
This is all very well and good. However, the effort is motivated to save the book store business. In this day and age of Amazon and the demise of the ethnic book store, it is problematic how long Marcus’ will survive. Then there will be a landmark building without Marcus’.
There was once a time where you could only purchase your books from a bookstore. During that particular day and age, it would’ve been hard to predict or see yourselves going elsewhere to buy them. This is what many people were used to; it was the norm. However, over recent years, the surge of online sales has greatly increased, and as a result, people decide to look for their desired books there instead.
But it’s not just buying books that people consider using online tools for now either. Services like Amazon publishing allows authors of 16 different imprints like fiction, non-fiction and children’s fiction to have their books published through this platform instead. As a result, Amazan will hold the rights to these books, and based on the number of sales, will pay the author accordingly. This will allow authors from far and wide to find a gateway to beginning their careers.
But as one business continues to expand, others like Marcus Books now face a fight to stay alive.
It’s not the end of the story for Marcus Books, however, as the business does have another chapter in Oakland, at least for now.