Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Independent Bookstores - Part 2

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:

The Economy

* 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.

The Environment

* 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.

The 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.


Beth said...

Maybe your hometown needs an indie, and then you can have your own book signing and cookie reception.

Steph Damore said...

That would be awesome.

DebraLSchubert said...

Indie bookstores rock. BTW: I linked ya!

J.J. Bennett said...

I want to own a bookstore. That movie, "You've Got Mail" makes me want that vey bookstore that was put out of business by the evil "Fox Books"...Great movie, but the best bookstore ever..."The Shop Around the Corner".

Steph Damore said...

You've Got Mail is one of my favorites too. A romantic comedy centered around bookstores? I couldn't ask for more.

J.J. Bennett said...

I know...Right?

Steph Damore said...

Oh, and I love Meg Ryan.

Laura Martone said...

Here, here, sister! Here, here.

Buying locally means helping locally, plus the folks that work at Indie bookstores really seem to love books! A recommendation from them usually accompanies an honest, passionate review, not a regurgitation of a press release.

Steph Damore said...

Laura, exactly. I know national chain employees love books too (why else would they work at a bookstore?). But it seems that their opinions are constrained by work politics. I could be completely wrong, but that's just what it seems like.

Mira said...

Yay, Steph!! Great message.

You go girl - let's save the indie bookstore, one blog at a time!

Steph Damore said...

You got it Mira!