If you’ve been putting off getting the UfYH book due to your budget, it’s on sale at Amazon for $11.70 right now (Monday 5/22/17)! Of course, if you can, I always encourage you to support your local independent bookstore or request a copy from your library, but I know that those options may not be the best solutions for everyone.
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.
I wanted to make this list because books are my passion and independent bookstores in particular are a wonderful thing which should be given more notice. Note: This list is not alphabetical, nor in order of best to worst, but by our route, and the ones we happened to find. I’m sure I have missed many, so please input any really good bookstores, I’d love to know about them!
- Battery Park Book Exchange & Champaign Bar, Asheville NC
- Malaprop’s Bookstore, Asheville NC
- Dauphine Street Books, New Orleans LA
- Collected Works Bookstore, Santa Fe NM
- City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco CA
- Powell’s City of Books, Portland OR
- Eagle Harbour Book Co., Seattle WA
- Munro’s Books, Victoria CANADA
- Boulder Books, Boulder CO
- Jackson Street Booksellers, Omaha NE
- Northshire Books, Saratoga Springs NY
- Crow Bookshop, Burlington VM
- Sherman Books and Stationary, Portland ME
- Harvard Bookstore, Boston MA
- Toad Hall Books, Rockport MA
- Wicked Good Books, Salem MA
- Spoonbill & Sugartown, Brooklyn NY
- McNally Jackson Books, New York City NY
- The Strand, New York City NY
- Posman Books, New York City NY
I hope you enjoy the list, and support independent booksellers!
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.
I’ve recently started collecting the Penguin Drop Caps book series. X, Y, and Z just came out, so when I saw used copies on Powell’s website, I snatched them up. When my box arrived today, I found this card inside telling me the used copies I ordered weren’t on the shelf. Instead, the store sent me three new copies, totalling about $30.00 more than what I paid for them. Their Portland store is awesome, but for us non-Oregonians, their website offers great prices, fast shipping, and excellent customer service. You can also sell them your old books online for cash or store credit, with free shipping to their store. It’s important to support independent bookstores and is a joy to do so when they take such good care of their customers. I was so excited about my pretty new books that I had to share my glee somewhere!
Yesterday I went to Posman Books in Grand Central - out of business. Today I walked past the Complete Traveler bookshop on Madison - out of business. Both doubtless to be replaced by chain stores or bank branches. It’s ironic that the city with the headquarters of most of the major and minor publishers in the country can’t support independent bookshops. Why can’t the publishing industry get it together like the music industry did and figure out how to support independent retail?