support independent bookstores

Just a little PSA

Um…ok, I’m kinda nervous to post this, and I don’t want to step on toes.

Lately I’ve seen a big push about “horrible box stores” (admittedly not bookstore chains specifically but still) and supporting smaller stores and independents (and booklr seems to love the aesthetic of independent bookstores) - and while that’s great, I wanna say something about box bookstores (or well, bookstore) and independents in the US.

As of this writing (Jan 2017), Barnes & Noble is pretty much the biggest bookstore chain in the US, especially since Borders closed.  Book-a-Million is also around still I think, but…  It’s pretty much just Barnes & Noble.

Please shop at Barnes & Noble. 

Support independent bookstores, of course!  I’m not saying for one moment that you shouldn’t.

Do not buy books from Amazon if you can help it - especially not new.

I say this because…Barnes & Noble, for places like where I live, is the only bookstore around.  Literally for miles.  And I mean for the next 1-3 hours of travel.  We have no independent bookstores.  We have a few, but they close quickly because there just isn’t a sustainable market here for them.

I know if they close I could just order my books online, but…the atmosphere would be gone.  The events.  The book signings.  In a sense, my home-away-from-home.  Libraries are great, of course, but it’s not quite the same, and my library system tends to cater to either the young or the elderly, and not much in between - or so it feels.

Ok…not sure I really…worded things great, but I’m tired and - with the opening of Amazon’s physical bookstores - just a little worried about my store closing like: Waldensbooks, Borders, Books-a-Million, and the independent bookstore a few years ago.

So um….just some food for thought.

When my wife and I opened Literati four years ago, we did so because we believe bookstores were more than places that simply sold a product. At the risk of sounding maudlin, it has been my experience that bookstores can help change lives. Bookstores are where challenging and evocative ideas flourish, new worlds open, and magic blooms. To anyone and everyone who has supported an independent bookstore this holiday season: Thank you for helping continue a bookstore’s ultimate endeavor — to change lives, cultivate ideas, and create magic.