PARK SLOPE - One of New York City's oldest independent bookstores in Park Slope is battling big-box and Internet retailers to stay in business."Financially, any small business is incredibly important," said Community Bookstore owner Catherine Bohne. "Culturally, it's incredibly important because that's where the character of the city comes from."

The 7th Avenue store has managed to stay afloat with a Barnes & Noble nearby, but Bohne said she's still facing stiff competition from online retailers such as

Investors helped bail out the business when she was facing foreclosure. Bohne said she's also staying relevant by offering home delivery and adding online sales on her Web site.

Other small retailers have been less fortunate. Park Slope Books, citing a lack of foot traffic over the last several years, will close its doors in the spring. 7th Ave. Books closed over the summer.

Related information:Community Bookstore