I love Indie Bookstores. They are some of my favorite places on earth. I’ve written a post expressing my love for them. Today is #bookstoreday – Independent Bookstore Day. A day to celebrate and thank our Indie Bookstores, and a good excuse for me to encourage others to support their Indie Bookshops – today and every day! (Not only am I a major Book Pusher, I am also an Independent Bookstore Pusher!)
Here are six ways you can help support your favorite Indie Bookstores:
1. Buy your print books at Independent Bookstores.
We all have stacks of unread books in piles at home. We all love our libraries. Some of us read eBooks. But most of us also still buy print books, and when we do we can buy them at Indie stores. Some people think shopping at Indie Bookstores is always more expensive than shopping online. Sometimes it is a little bit more expensive, yes. But if we value having lovely, sunlit stores or dark tall basement stacks to wander through and spend time in, we have to support them. Also – it’s not always more expensive. There are wonderful used bookstores. The closest Indie to me, the lovely BookCourt, sells bestsellers for 30% off. Many stores such as Strand and Powells offer great discounts on a huge percentage of their new and used stock. Strand has a table featuring print books that are cheaper than their ebook counterparts.
2. Get yourself a treat at the bookstore cafe.
Even if you’re not in the market to purchase a book while you’re browsing an Indie Bookstore, there are many other ways to support them. Lots of Indie Bookstores have cafes, and grabbing a coffee or tea, and/or maybe a baked good treat while you’re there is a great way to support them even if you’re not able to buy a new book each visit.
3. Buy greeting cards, journals, and other paper goods at Indie Bookstores.
Indie Bookstores often have wonderful paper good sections – lovely greeting cards, beautiful journals or notebooks, excellent pens, gift wrap etc.
4. Buy gifts at Independent Bookstores.
Books make the best gifts! Many bookshops have also greatly expanded their gift sections to grow their business: Schuler Books and Music in my home state of Michigan has a wonderful gifts section, as does Strand and many others.
5. Attend author events at your Independent Bookstore.
Even if you don’t buy many books, getting a copy of a book signed by a beloved author is a great excuse to buy and own a new book. These are usually fantastic events with wonderful readings and Q&As – take advantage of the opportunity to meet authors, and support the bookstore that made it possible by purchasing the author’s new book there. Signed copies also make great gifts, so I often snag a couple of copies and get some birthday or Christmas shopping done in advance.
6. Spread the word and the love for your favorite stores.
And there’s a very easy way to support Indies without spending a dime: share your love for your Indie on social media. If you Instagram photos or Tweet about your visiting, it will remind others to visit and support their Indies as well!
I’m very lucky – I live in New York City which has an abundance of wonderful Indie Bookstores. I know many people aren’t as lucky – Indie Bookstores are difficult to make a living on, and many have closed across the country and around the world. If you don’t live near an Indie Bookstore, there are still many ways you can support the Indie Bookstore community, such as shopping from the Indies that offer online shopping and visiting Indie Bookstores while you’re traveling. (The main image for this post is the lovely Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, one of the fantastic shops I’ve visited while traveling.)
Please share your love for your favorite Indies in the comments! What is your local Indie Bookshop? What makes them special? What is the best Bookshop you’ve discovered while traveling?
(Above image from City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco.)