21 December 2015

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: Support Your Local Bookstore (Mini Rant) & Holiday Plans

Support your local bookstore rant: Over the weekend, I saw a Twitter conversation about how much an acquaintance loved visiting his local independent bookstore and buying books there. His comments about finding every title he was looking for set off my usual fit of jealousy.

If you have a good independent bookstore anywhere near you, please make an effort to support it. I live in an area ruled by Barnes & Noble. Although I have no particular issue with B&N, I miss the days of shopping at a small bookstore with a staff who recognized their regular customers and who made an effort to do some hand-selling.

I was in our B&N last week to pick up two popular, well-known books to give as Christmas gifts. I figured these books were new enough that I'd have no problem finding them in the store. When I didn't see them on the shelves, I asked for help. The clerk checked the inventory and told me neither book was in stock. I could almost accept that in mid-December, but here's the kicker: The clerk not only didn't offer to order the books for me but also failed to suggest similar books I might want to buy instead.

Fortunately, after browsing the shelves, I was able to pick up some good second choices, so I didn't leave empty handed. I can't tell you how much I wished we had a local indie with knowledgeable employees. I could have used some recommendations or a chance to order the books.

If you have an independent bookstore in your area, be grateful. Frequent the store. Go to their events. You have no idea how bleak it can be without a good local bookstore.

My holiday blogging schedule. I am going pretty light around here until January 4. I plan to post  Wordless Wednesday photos and Weekend Cooking link-ups as usual. I have a reading goals post percolating in my brain, maybe another review, and I'm thinking of a nonbook post or two. Other than that, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter, and I'll be checking my blog reader so I can keep up on all of your news and reviews.


JoAnn 12/21/15, 7:44 AM  

Barnes & Noble rules this area, too, but there is a small independent university bookstore that's a 30 minute drive in the opposite direction. I don't travel that way much, but try to find a reason several times each summer and fall. Happy Holidays!

Marie Cloutier 12/21/15, 8:07 AM  

Barnes & Noble deserves our support too. these days it's not indies vs. chains; it's everyone vs. Amazon. I'm sorry that your B&N let you down though. That said, if you don't have a local indie you can always shop indie online with another independent small store or a big store like Powells.com or strandbooks.com. their selection is as good as anyone's and their prices aren't bad either.

Melissa 12/21/15, 8:48 AM  

Yup, no independent bookstore here either. Barnes & Noble is our only bookstore for new books (well, we have a Hastings with a small book section.) Every time I go into our B & N there are more toys and less books...at this point I'm afraid they'll close down and I'll live in a town without a bookstore! YIKES!!

bermudaonion 12/21/15, 9:08 AM  

More money stays in your community when you shop at a local store of any kind so I try to shop in independent businesses as much as I can. Since my family owns a small business, I know first hand the way the big box stores do business and it's not always ethical.

Andi 12/21/15, 10:21 AM  

The last indie ANYWHERE near me went out of business a few years ago, and it's so so sad to be without it. It was a great place to congregate with other readers, and the staff was excellent. Three cheers for supporting them if we have them.

Vicki 12/21/15, 10:54 AM  

I live in the country and it takes me an hour to drive to the nearest Indie Store. B&N is not much less at 45. There are a few family owned bookstores that I shop at in a small town near me, but I do like shopping Indie the best.

Nan 12/21/15, 2:46 PM  

I don't have a local independent, and the nearest B&N is hours away, so I shop at Amazon. I can't feel guilty about it. In a funny way, I do 'browse.' And the computer non-people are helpful in recommending books they think I would like. I've had to make my peace with this. Those of us in rural areas just don't have a choice.

(Diane) bookchickdi 12/21/15, 10:15 PM  

I volunteer at a local used bookstore, run by the Friends of the Webster Library, and we love helping customers find just the perfect book. It's one of the most satisfying aspects of working there, and fun too, matching the person with the perfect book.

westmetromommy 12/22/15, 12:17 AM  

There was a great independent bookstore in my hometown. Sadly, it closed a few years ago. The independent bookstore in my area now is Powell's, which is bigger than B&N and doesn't feel very independent.

However, there is a small used bookstore near me that I quite enjoy. I can't always guarantee a specific title will be in stock at any time, but I do enjoy browsing there.

Daryl 12/23/15, 8:49 AM  

ever since Shakespeare & Co left the UWS there's not been another indie book seller in sight... I am unsure if Murder Ink is still up in the 90s along B'way i somehow think its not ... so its BN or Amazon online

i also think that bigger chain stores hire extra help for the holidays so maybe the clerk was a temp and had no clue how to sell books

Heather 12/24/15, 2:20 PM  

I do support my local independent shop, and i am thrilled with how many people are buying books as gifts. Read on.

Karen White 12/29/15, 9:37 AM  

I was happy to find that my local independent was able to order books (with no shipping if I was willing to go back and pick them up). They also have a member discount. While its not as cheap as shopping Amazon, the money at least goes to authors, publishers, and as Kathy said, stays in your community. I'm going to try and buy local more often this year.

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