Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — While independent bookstores around the world seem to be in decline because of the changing buying habits of consumers (such as people acquiring books through e-platforms such as Amazon), a recent study shows that in the U.S., there has been a 35 percent growth in the number of independent bookstores.
A key finding in the study states that one of the reasons why independent bookshops have resurfaced is because of the sense of community that they offer to their visitors. Czyka Tumaliuan, the owner of Kwago, a bookstore in La Fuerza, Makati that provides a platform for independent writers and creators, says that she created the space particularly because existing bookstores in the Philippines don’t tend to have relationships with their customers.
“I started it because I felt that the current bookstores are very cold. They don't really recommend books to the customers or the book lovers,” she says.
“The community is built ... on our support to each other because we don't really make this stuff to cater to a market. We only make this stuff because it's fun, [it’s] self-expression, and sometimes [it’s] for social advocacies that are not given a voice in other spaces.”
Being a writer herself, Tumaliuan knows that it is not only important for any kind of work to be shared to an audience, it is also crucial that the storytellers who share their work in Kwago can be connected to the right readers.
Watch the video below to learn more about how Kwago supports independent creators: