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Shop Local and Indie

It hurts whenever I hear an indie bookstore is retiring. The cause is rooted more in how we acquire books rather than how much we read. I believe there are enough readers to sustain local businesses. I understand sometimes it’s way more convenient to order the next read online because a bookstore is an hour’s worth of driving away. Shopping local, however, has a direct impact on your community. This is why:

1. For every $100 you spend in locally owned, independent stores, $68 returns to your community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.
2. If you spend that in a national chain store, only $43 stays here.
3. If you spend it online, nothing comes home.

If you’re still wondering what the big deal is? Think about it this way: Which independent businesses would you miss if they closed tomorrow? Buying local means less infrastructure and more money to beautify your community. Buying local instead of online ensures that sales taxes are reinvested where they belong: in your community. In my own experience, local/independent bookstores’ walls are lined with a hand-picked selection of books of all genres, from bestsellers to the most obscure and unusual titles. Their selection makes for the kind of store you can rely on to carry that book that was just mentioned on NPR or in The New York Times, but also the very best books you’ve never heard of. This is made possible by a staff that is made up of knowledgeable and passionate readers. Since most indies pick the items they sell based on what they know customers like and want, the indies are not beholden to corporate interests, market research, or suppliers’ advertising dollars. In a larger scale, creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business ensures a strong community.

Support local businesses, Shop Indie.

5 Responses

  1. Thank you for writing this. I unfortunately shop too much at Amazon, then complain about the absence of good local businesses. Maybe I need to shift my shopping habits!

  2. I would love love love to have an indie in my town. Unfortunately, we do not, but I’m still grateful for Barnes & Noble. I don’t know what I’d do without a bookstore to browse. I do try to make the 2-hour hike to Houston to go to the indies there, though. Such great quality and events.

  3. To me one of the best pleasures of reading a book is the book it self. I also love keeping all the great literature I’ve connected with, the actual books begin to symbolize for me a bond with a timeframe of my life, when I read the work. I am a big supporter of not buying books in large chain stores. Lucky for me I have many options living in New York City. But I whole heartedly agree with your post. As readers we must support small bookstores, because they are owned by our peers and give us a forum to communicate with fellow readers and authors that find their home there!

  4. I make it a point to buy a book at a real bookstore of some sort at least once a month. Whether I need a book or not. 😉

  5. Those statistics are very telling and make me feel guilty for all of the times that I ordered from Amazon instead of jumping in the car to drive a ways to get to an Indie. I do support Powell’s in Oregon by buying from them but that money goes to Portland folks and not the SF Bay Area folks but at least it goes to an Indie…ha!

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