During these strange and uncertain times, I find it helpful to escape from the world through a good book. That leads me to an important PSA: If you are going to make the effort to read more, do so by supporting your local bookstores.
In that vein, I have a second important announcement: A new online book retailer, Bookshop.org, launched in January 2020 with one goal, to support indie publishing and local bookstores in a world where Amazon is taking over the bookselling industry.
I first heard about the site while reading an article in Poets & Writers. The magazine deemed the new online book retailer as “An indie alternative to Amazon,” which was enough to hook me.
Now, before I go any further I want to be clear: there are no affiliate links in the post. And yes, while I, like most people, continue to shop on Amazon for its prices and convenience, I strongly believe it’s time we take a look at alternative online retailers for purchasing books.
Few places in life are as comforting as walking into a local, indie bookstore. I have some of my favorites — which I detailed in a separate post — as I’m sure you do. They always seem to have the friendliest booksellers on staff, along with some of the most genuine and personal recommendations — compared to the largest book retailers that simply cater to the New York Times Best Seller lists.
Bookshop.org is unique in its quest to support local bookstores while providing a quality online book-shopping experience. According to the website, their mission was “to create an easy, convenient way to get your books and still support local bookstores.” Right on the home page, there is a running tally of the financial support that they will be providing to local bookstores (at the time of writing this, that was approaching $60,000).
Now, more than ever, it is important to support local bookstores, if we want to help ensure their survival. Some of my favorites, which offer online shopping and cheap shipping, are Literati Bookstore and McLean & Eakin Bookstore, both in Michigan.