Our friends at Bookshop.org have launched their “don’t buy books at Amazon” alternative over in the UK and I am obviously upset that they’re not calling it Bookshoppe. This comes just in time for Britain’s second round of lockdown as covid cases there continue to climb right along with the rest of the world (except for Australia and New Zealand!). As Bookshop founder Andy Hunter (co-founder and publisher of this site) tells The Guardian: “Bookstores have been in trouble for a while because of Amazon’s growth, but this pandemic has really accelerated it. Amazon has gotten much more powerful, while there are 100-year-old stores that are hanging on for survival.”
Launched in the US in late March, Bookshop had relatively modest early plans for growth, but the pandemic changed all of that and by mid June the site was selling $1 million a day worth of books. And though it’s best to support your favorite indie bookstore directly, Bookshop sets aside a percentage of every sale (that would otherwise be profit) for a bookstore fund shared among its 900 partner stores. Thus far that fund has raised $7.5 million.
Bookshop UK launches today with 130 bookstore partners, and is hoping to reach 200 partners by the end of the year.