August 26, 2010

Indie Bookstores Vs. Big Name Bookstores

When I first started blogging I saw a lot of references to Indie Bound and indie book sellers.  I had no clue what people were talking about! I had an idea, but I wasn't sure I was right.  I decided it was time I learned.

I went to Indie Bound and learned. For those of you that don't know what Indie Bound is, here is the description from their website:

What is IndieBound?

IndieBound is a community-oriented movement begun by the independent bookseller members of the American Booksellers Association. It brings together booksellers, readers, indie retailers, local business alliances, and anyone else with a passionate belief that healthy local economies help communities thrive. Supporting local, indie businesses means that dollars, jobs, diversity, choice, and taxes stay local, creating strong, unique communities and happy citizens.
Ok so maybe I'm lame, but it took me really looking at Indie Bound to really get what "indie" was.  It's those fantastic bookstores that aren't the size of a warehouse.  The ones that are owned by individual people not just a corperation.  The ones that struggle when a Barnes and Noble comes in.  The ones that can be hard to find. How could have I not gotten that right away?
Now I wanted to visit my local indie bookstore. On Indie Bound you can search for the nearest Indie bookstore near you.  Want to know how many I have close by?  One.  That's it. And that one is over 20 minutes away.   There are others, but they would be a drive.  Now you need to know I live in a suburb of a large(er) city.  When I really thought about it, I couldn't think of one bookstore near me that wasn't a Borders or Barnes and Noble.  Not one! Isn't that kinda sad? Are we losing these small bookstores?

Beyond just learning about indie bookstores, I also learned how shopping at local indie bookstores is a more green way to shop, and it helps my local economy.  Indie Bound has a great explanation of how shopping indie does this.  Go here to read it. 
Now don't get me wrong, this post isn't about the evils of big box bookstores.  I love my BN and Borders!  I'm there a lot. This post is more about my new awareness of the benifits of shopping indie and the lack of independent bookstores near me. I'd love to have a small bookstore nearby that might remember me when I come in.  One that, when I shopped at it, I would be helping my community grow. It makes me pretty sad that I don't have that chance near me. If there is one near you, I encourage you to visit it.  I doubt you'll regret it.
If you want to know more about Indie Bound and how indie bookstores help the community check out Indie Bound FAQ.  Then make sure to check out the rest of the site. They have a really cool Indie Next List that gives you some great books to look at.

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? That's pretty much what introduced me to indie book stores - Meg has a cute little children's book store, then Tom decides to open up a ginormous book chain across the street. You can guess what happens...