Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why Indie Book Stores Matter

This article was in today's Shelf Awareness. We couldn't have put it better ourselves:

Writer Bill Schubart spoke about "the place of bookstores in our communities" in his Vermont Public Radio commentary on Monday. Schubart lives in Hinesburg, Vt., where Natacha Liuzzi recently opened Brown Dog Books & Gifts. "Small businesses like bookstores define and enrich a healthy community," he said. "I know because my town of Hinesburg just got one and it's changing my book-buying habits."

"The buying of a book is a rich allegory about community," Schubart continued. "Your local bookstore carries what it believes will be of interest to the community it serves. It hires local people and pays local rent and taxes. The staff reads and can talk about the books they sell. They host community events and book clubs and spend time with children learning to read. They will special order books to meet the diverse interests of their patrons. They may charge more for the books they stock but they make up for it with service.

"Reading, like the preparing and serving of fresh local food, enjoying artful conversation over a glass of wine, or just strolling in a vibrant downtown should be savored slowly. I'm willing to pay a small premium to sustain my community. When I want a new book, I'll buy the fifteen dollar copy at our local bookseller who hosts local authors and poets instead of ordering it online for twelve. I also want a hardware story, a grocery store, a restaurant and a café and I'm willing to pay a little extra for them."

In these hard times I know it's awfully tempting to save money wherever we can. But choosing *where* we spend our dollars is just as important as how many dollars we spend or save. And I, for one, want to make sure that all of my favorite local restaurants and shops will be able to stick around until times get better.

Emily Crowe

No comments: