With this year’s Independent Bookstore Day occurring at a particularly rough time for booksellers, the iconic Powell’s Books in Portland has decided to make a statement and stop selling through Amazon.
In a statement, owner Emily Powell notes that the occasion, this year, feels “especially weighty,” prompting them to take action in support of independent vendors:
For too long, we have watched the detrimental impact of Amazon’s business on our communities and the independent bookselling world. We understand that in many communities, Amazon—and big box retail chains—have become the only option. And yet when it comes to our local community and the community of independent bookstores around the U.S., we must take a stand. The vitality of our neighbors and neighborhoods depends on the ability of local businesses to thrive. We will not participate in undermining that vitality.
Powell’s, in particular, has faced its share of challenges during the pandemic; after laying off most of its workers in mid-March, the store announced later that month it would bring back 49 staff members, and that the store now employs more than 100 people in total.
This is your daily reminder: independent bookstores always need your support!