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I Love My Independent Bookstore... Do YOU?

By June 14, 2012

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Letters of Edith WhartonAny discussion of the classics will never be complete unless we take into consideration availability of some of the greatest works of literature ever written (and that includes many that will NEVER be on the bestseller lists). How do those books survive? How do we connect with books, participate in the community of readers, and stumble upon other surprise treasures--if not for our local bookstores?

We've known for a long time that the publishing industry is in trouble; and so are our favorite independent bookstores. The economy has hit them all hard--you may have noticed at least one or two of your favorite shops have closed. Of course, there's something to be said for convenience (the most often-heard reason why readers buy their books online instead of visiting their local bookstore). If you've not been to your local independent bookstore, help me celebrate Independent Booksellers Week by visiting it this week! (I was just reading an article on The Guardian: How to Survive as an Independent Bookshop...

Whenever I've just finished reading an absolutely fantastic book, I'm tempted to chuck it all, rent a little space, buy up a few hundred books to start, put the coffee on to brew, and wait until the flood of readers/writers/thinkers are drawn to my door (it's probably the whiff of old books--it draws us all in). It's a romantic notion. And, it's a lifestyle that's becoming more and more difficult to sustain.

So, since I can't afford to own my own little book store, here's a plea: Stop by a bookstore near you. Let them know you support them... It's not much, but I'm sure (if nothing else) you can enjoy the smell of books, and you may hear one or two titles call your name. You won't be able to resist!


June 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm
(1) Bill says:

Not sure what it means by “independent.” Does it mean, not part of a big box store like Target or Costco, or does it mean not part of a chain like Barnes & Noble? Does it include a privately owned chain like Half Price Books?

June 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(2) DA says:

Yes, I believe she means non-big box, non-chain. Locally owned. Where does the money go–to your town/area or to the corporate office somewhere else?

July 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm
(3) starrpoint says:

Are there any really independent stores left?

June 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm
(4) Eric Read says:

Of course there are. In the Salt Lake City, Utah area there are many. For a current book I would go to Barnes & Noble, but if I want to shop for classics or something I haven’t read in the past, I go to the Independent Book Stores.

June 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm
(5) Martin says:

I live in the UK, London, and am lucky because I have a couple of independent bookshops in the area. With reading groups, local musicians and authors, as well as more famous ones visiting there is quite a bit going on, as well as book readings for children.

What I like are that the staff are friendly, they know what type of books you like reading and so can point you to new authors, as well as getting you a book by the next day. Unlike the chains you can also stand around and have a chat.

June 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm
(6) Bob Player says:

We have a wonderful independent bookstore that was a major reason for my wife and I to move to Asheville, N.C. The store is named “Malaprops,” and we have both spent many happy hours there browsing and buying books. I discovered and bought “Edgar Sawtelle” there along with several Geraldine Brooks novels and Neil Gaiman as well. I found Patrick Rothfuss and the first of the” Kingkiller Chronicles,” “The Name of the Wind” during a browse there. They have book signings, and author events, free wifi, and a snack bar. If I hadn’t retired already, I’d have had to do so in order to spend more time there. My wife and I often buy two copies of some less expensive books that we wish to read together at night before going to sleep. You have to agree not to get too far ahead of the other one to make this deal work, so it helps if you are a person who reads more than one book at a time.

June 29, 2012 at 6:54 am
(7) Martin says:

What I love about independents are that they also have books left that have gone out of print. Suddenly coming across a book that you have been after for some time, unread and being sold off at a fraction of the original price is great.

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