Gooood morning, book people! It’s getting closer and closer to black Friday and the holidays so we’re all spending our money. But, are we spending it at the right places or are we supporting giant corporations who really affect the planet in harmful ways? I’ve always made an effort to shop at indie bookstores but I think this is the time where it’s incredibly important to shop indie. Shopping local is wonderful too but I know that many people don’t have indie bookstores near them. Fear not! You can always shop indie online at several online indie bookstores. I’m going to be making an entire list for the US and I’ll list it right here when it’s done.
In this photo you see above, I have all the book I’ve ordered from indie shops and bought at the ones near me. This entire stack! I might’ve forgotten a few but that’s fine because there’s still SO many. I am so proud to be supporting these local businesses and the indie bookshop that I work at as well. I have had wonderful experiences visiting indie bookshops out of my state (see this post here) and I’m so lucky to have ones near me that I love.
“Nationally, new stores are opening, established stores are finding new owners, and a new generation is coming into the business as both owner/managers and frontline booksellers. For the ninth year in a row ABA bookstore membership has grown, with stores operating in more than 2,400 locations.And, importantly, as a channel, independent bookstore sales are up. Overall book sales across indie bookstores for 2017 increased 2.6 percent over 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent over the past five years. And so far for 2018, sales in the indie channel are up approximately 5 percent over 2017. All of this is a result of the fact that indie booksellers remain a resilient and entrepreneurial group — and that independent bookstores offer a unique — and unparalleled — opportunity for the discovery of new authors and great writing.While not every bookstore or community has seen this growth, the national trends are clear.Because indie stores have vital and unique ties to their communities they serve as important community centers, connecting readers and book buyers more closely with authors, great writing, other passionate readers, and their neighbors.” (Source)
I often order from bookshops out of state online because so many indie bookshops do signed copies and sometimes even personalized copies! Many authors are willing to do this for their own indie bookstores near them (example: Rainbow Rowell and Bookworm Omaha). I have so many signed and personalized books because of this and I love them all so much. It’s so cool that my favorite author wrote a little personalized note to me in my favorite book by them. I’m going to make a list of authors that do this as well! Stay tuned for that.
But onto my point, I’m going to start doing A LOT of posts dedicated to indie bookstores and book shopping because I really want people to understand that if they keep shopping at big corporations like Amazon or Target for their books, these little precious bookstores are going to die. This is super personal to me as well considering the store I worked at was going to close. Below, I’m going to put an image of a very sad sign we had outside the store before moving. I’m a bookseller so I hear people say to my face they’ll just get a book on Amazon or that it’s cheaper online. I wish I could have Amazon prices at the bookstore I work at but unfortunately, we can’t afford to take a hit for low prices. But, we do try to lower prices with sales constantly so indies CAN be affordable and if you took a day to step inside one, you’d learn that.
So many people are buying things in the holidays, especially black Friday, so please be aware of the places you’re buying from. Please at least take time out of your day to walk into the indie bookstore you might pass on the way to somewhere else. When you buy from your local bookstore, you’re putting money into your community and supporting it, helping it grow.
If you’re buying a book for your friend, try shopping at an independent bookstore. Bookstores often have so many lovely little gift items as well. It’s hard not to find something at an indie bookstore.
During the next few weeks, try indies first! I’m sure you’ll love it.
If you want to take part in this little indie awareness thing we’re doing, use the hashtags #GoIndie and #IndieFirst! I’ll be sharing a bunch on my Instagram so make sure you’re following me on there for updates and more independent bookstore love! I have an entire highlight of stories if you want to see my past stories about this.
Here’s our Indie Bingo!
If you want to order books to support the store I work at, please DM me over on Instagram! I can ship anywhere in the U.S. for free. I’m also wrapping books if they’re gifts ♡
Find your local bookstore!