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Independent bookstores need a second wave of your support NOW.

Jonny Diamond

October 28, 2020, 10:47am

Book sales might be doing ok, but not enough people are buying those books at their local independent bookstores. That’s bad. Stores are hurting, even Paris’s iconic Shakespeare and Co. On the day this site launched I wrote about my time at Shakespeare and Co. and why independent bookstores are so important to the cultural life of any given community. What I wrote five years ago remains true today:

I do not think of bookstores as an endangered species. I think the opposite is true. But I will say this: if we don’t buy books at our bricks-and-mortar bookstores, if we fail to use our libraries, we risk losing them.

Jeff Bezos has become a billionaire several times over during this pandemic by manipulating our addiction to consumer convenience—don’t give him more of your money. Please, if you have any kind of budget for holiday shopping, take a moment to figure out if your local indie is taking direct orders (they probably are), and start spending your money NOW on bookish gifts. Independent bookstores absolutely rely on the next six weeks of sales to get them through to spring, so if we don’t invest in them now, we really might lose them this time; if you don’t believe me, how about noted Texan aphorist Dan Rather.

And don’t forget, a hard time for bookstores means it’s an even harder time for booksellers, so there’s more you can do than simply buying books.

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