Stephen Harrigan

A decade ago Austin bookseller Steve Bercu faced a Texas-sized threat to his independent store: Borders planned to build a megastore just blocks away. So he dug in his spurs and garnered community support, keeping the franchise out of his area.

As of last week the national retailer is no longer a danger as the liquidation of its remaining stores ensues. But Bercu's 40-year-old BookPeople is up against the same challenges that led to Borders' demise— steady growth of e-books and the increasing lure of Amazon and other online sellers offering discounts over brick-and-mortar pricing.

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