As I blogged about yesterday, I recently fell in love with an up north independent bookstore - Mclean and Eakin in Petoskey, MI. This new love affair got me thinking - what's really the difference between independent bookstores and national chain stores?
In completing my research (I'm an academic girl too, remember?), I stumbled upon the American Booksellers Association (ABA). According to ABA's website, the trade association has been advocating for and on behalf of independent bookstores for over 100 years. That sounds cool and all, but what does that mean?! Why do we need/want/love independent bookstores? Is it just the personal attention? The desire to thumb our noses at the Big Guys? Or is it more?
A couple more clicks led me to IndieBound.org - a pretty cool website that gave me just the information I was looking for.
Here's what I pulled word-for-word from their website:
Why shop Indie?
When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:
* Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
* Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
* More of your taxes are reinvested in your community--where they belong.
* Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
* Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.
* Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
* Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
* More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.
See? Now that's what I'm talking about. Support local business and celebrate creativity. Independent bookstores offer a win-win, book-buying, reading-loving situation. So, if you get the chance, stop in one TODAY! Because these little gems need YOU if they're going to keep on sparkling.
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