Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Importance of Local Bookstores

There has been a lot of press lately about bookstores going the way of the dinosaurs.  I don't believe that's true.  I do think that big box bookstores are going away, or at least shrinking.  But I still see a lot of smaller, local bookstores run by people who truly LOVE books. Even though I read a lot of my books electronically, I still love going to my local bookstore. I love browsing the shelves. I love sitting in a little alcove and letting time slow down for a moment while I read a few pages of a book I'm considering.

What do bookstores do?  The employees actually read books and make recommendations. They know if you liked a particular young adult novel, that you might like this other one you've never heard of. Because a lot of smaller bookstores sell both used books and new books, they know how to help you find a book that's been out of print for a few years. If they don't have it, they may know another store in your area that does have it. In other words, your small local bookstore is dedicated to making you happy as a reader.

Bookstores are also great for bringing readers and authors together. They provide venues for book signings or readings from a local author. If you ever wanted to ask an author why she did something in a novel, or what her inspiration might have been, bookstores provide that opportunity.  And it's not just print book authors anymore.  Many bookstores also provide opportunities to meet ebook authors, because they now have the ability to sell ebooks through their store and to make money off of them. 

At this point, you are probably saying something like: "Yeah, but it's so much easier to go online and buy it electronically and download it." Yes, but would you like the ease of that AND still be supporting your bookstore?  You can do that now thanks to relationships the bookstore can build with ebook companies like Kobo. Other bookstores use other affiliate relationships to provide their customers with that opportunity.

I hope you take some time and visit your local bookstore. Click on the Indie Bound logo above to find a bookstore near you. (For non U.S. readers, I've put the links to IndieBound International stores at the end of this blog. Let me know if I missed any.). Find out how you can have the best of both worlds--downloading ebooks as well as buying print books.  If you haven't been to a bookstore recently, I bet you'll be surprised at how many have joined the electronic world right along with you.

Happy Reading!

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Paty Jager said...

I agree, there is nothing like walking into a book store! I love everything about book stores and the people do read the books and can help you find books you love and new authors who are similar to your auto buys. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Paty! My local bookstores have supported me as both a reader and an author. I belong to a book group at church, and I'm often running into the bookstore at the last minute because I haven't read the book of the month yet. I'm sure they have me on their calendar. :)

Most of all I love that they all read. At my local bookstore, they have someone who reads YA almost exclusively. A couple people who read romance. And then several who read suspense and westerns and other things. AND they take the time to put little tags on the shelves for the favorite books and review them in their online newsletter.

Really what's not to love?