Here on this blog, I love supporting my independent bookstores and independent bookstores all around the world. Whenever I travel somewhere new, I like to check out the local bookstore. (You can read all my bookstore tours/visits here.)
Now, more than ever, it is so important to support your local store. They don't have the funding or backing that big chain bookstores have which makes a big impact when sales go down. Today, I'll be talking about why I love my indie store and ways you can help keep your local store open!
Two reasons why I love my local independent bookstore
*I'm using the term local very liberally here*
- young adult groups
This may be different for the bigger bookstores in your area, but mine don't have any good youth groups. My local B&N did just start a monthly YA book club, but I haven't yet had the time to check it out. I don't know if there is a good consistent group or if it is one or two people every so often. Instead, I go to an indie store that's about an hour away for their book group. We talk about what we read that month, write shelf-talkers, and then we get some ARCs! I always look forwards to our meetings because it is a small group of people and I know everyone there.
- author events
Indie bookstores often have a large draw for authors. The store I mentioned above has a couple of locations and has been a tour stop for an Epic Reads tour and the Try Guys book tour. Another one is a popular bay area store where I most recently met Adalyn Grace. Changing Hands Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Arizona frequently hosts authors as the first stop on their tour.
Ways to support your local store:
- buy gift cards
If you love the store and regular purchase from them, buy some gift cards. That way, they get the money now and you'll be able to use it later. They are also great gifts! *I'd recommend using it later because then, the stores have a larger net profit (only having to subtract the price of producing the gift card compared to a book).
- buy books online
Buying books online is a great option right now. You don't need to leave your house or move from your couch/chair/bed to order some. Additionally, many stores are offering free shipping, and some authors are offering merch from their books (art prints, signed bookplates, etc.) to buyers if they purchase from indie stores (any store) and submit proof of purchase.
- buy merch
I know that not all stores have merch, but if they do, there's no better way to support your local store and rep them at the same time. I often like to get tote bags from the different stores I go to. I currently have one from Foyles Bookstore and one from Blue Bicycle Books. It's like a functional version of a snowglobe!
I'd love to hear from you about your local store. What makes it your favorite place? How are you planning on supporting them?
Stay safe and healthy!