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My local Indie

June 9, 2009

I haven’t written much about Independent bookstores here on my blog because, quite frankly, I hardly ever visit them. There isn’t a bookstore in the town I live in, independent or big box, so when I do venture out to purchase books I have the tendency to stop by Borders, which is conveniently located a hop, skip and jump from one of my favorite stores.

Today though I made the conscience decision to drive in the opposite direction and instead visited Mendham Books. I’ve been to Mendham Books a handful of times (most recently to hear author Kate Jacobs speak) and found it to be a real friendly neighborhood bookstore. I’ve decided to do my best to focus my book buying on local, independently owned bookstores from now on.


But what has caused this change of heart? Well, according to Indie Bound, there are many reasons to buy from your local neighborhood bookseller.

  • 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.

These all seem pretty reasonable reasons to shop locally. I especially like the idea of helping the environment and the fact that local businesses are more inclined to give money to charity.

Do you buy Indie? Is there any specific reason why (or why not)?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2009 2:03 pm

    I try. I don’t buy everything from the local but the one big change I’ve made is that I do all my preorders through them. I’m buying a lot fewer books than I was a year or two ago and I find I’m more willing to support the local independent when I’m not trying to focusing on buying as many books as I can for $x.

    • June 9, 2009 3:06 pm

      I too don’t by nearly as many books as I did a year ago, but figured when I do I might as well support a local business!

  2. June 9, 2009 2:28 pm

    The only indie around us is on the other side of the metro area we live in. I do make it a point to stop in and buy from them whenever I’m in the area, which isn’t very often, unfortunately, since I really believe in supporting local businesses.

  3. June 9, 2009 2:33 pm

    Unfortunately, I shop at Borders more than anywhere but we do have an awesome shop that a friend and I often make a day of to visit and have lunch nearby. In fact, we’ll be going in 2 weeks when she is done with school. I have a list ready (but I’m sure it’ll change – I can’t buy the entire tbr)

  4. June 9, 2009 2:34 pm

    I’ve been trying to frequent more INDIE bookstores. In the past I was an Amazon only gal, but this past month I stated spending at INDIES.

  5. June 9, 2009 2:44 pm

    I like to, but the closest one to me is about forty minutes away! I usually hit the thrift store first, actually. I haven’t been inside a big chain bookstore in about five years.

  6. June 9, 2009 4:18 pm

    I get my books EVERYWHERE. Locally, online, at second-hand shops, at the library, from friends. But it does make sense to shop locally whenever possible.

  7. June 9, 2009 4:32 pm

    Dallas is notorious for not having indie bookstores, so I really only visit indie bookstores on vacation. There is one I know of, but it’s three towns over, forty-five minutes away, and costs $4.50 in tolls to get there, not to mention the $4.50 I’ll spend in gas to get there.

    I’d rather spend the time and money at Half-Price Books, a Dallas-based used bookstore. At least that way books that no longer have homes can come home with me.

  8. June 9, 2009 4:49 pm

    I love indies. I buy indie whenever I get the chance. There are no indies where I live, but I try to buy from indies on line whenever I can. Sometimes I just can’t wait, so I buy from the big box store in town.

  9. June 9, 2009 8:56 pm

    I would so buy Indie if the closest one wasn’t 70 miles away!! Makes it hard with gas so high to justify going there when B&N is 14 miles from my house. I will however make a more conscious thought when buying online!! thanks for the info!!

  10. Fiona permalink
    June 9, 2009 11:12 pm

    I’m a library girl through and through! I don’t have a lot of disposable income, so when I do want to buy a book, I go where it’s going to be cheapest, which is usually a chain store.

  11. June 10, 2009 6:40 am

    I love to browse and more th browsing area and more the books, the happier I am. The Indie’s here are very smal and carry only a small section of books. It hardly takes 15-20 mins to browse through the racks. So If I have lots of time I go to large, chain bookstores. If I need something specific I head to an Indie.

  12. June 10, 2009 12:11 pm

    Yes. My biggest problem is that i buy from any store that has books in it. I do like my local Book Nook and there is a new store in the mall called Books off. The only reason I don’t always buy from these is because you can’t always get the book you want. If I can though I definitely buy it at one of these local places. I really like the old guy that owns the Book Mark and it is fun to go in and talk to him. He is also very knowledgeable.

  13. June 10, 2009 4:07 pm

    I have several indies in my town and I really try to support them. My problem though is when I get the coupons from B&N and Borders – when you buy so many books you want your book budget to go a bit further so those stores make that easier.

  14. June 10, 2009 7:43 pm

    There’s no indie store in my town, either, even though it’s a suburb of L.A. I am campaigning to get one of my friends to open a store — but she is still, alas, crunching numbers. I often buy on amazon because I can’t stand to go to Borders or B&N and not find what I’m looking for. I’m not proud of my habit. As an author, it’s somewhat blasphemous, actually. I’m glad you’re raising awareness….

  15. June 10, 2009 7:59 pm

    You have to think about the value an Indie adds to your community, as well. Readings, kids’ story time, literacy projects. It’s not just a place to buy books, it’s a place to inspire conversation. And with the warehouse network, they can order almost any book and get it in a day or two. No one will begrudge a B&N, Borders, BAM, Amazon purchase, of course. But we also have to preserve our communities and independent bookstores are an important part of that.

    Garth Stein
    “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

    • June 10, 2009 8:41 pm

      Garth, Thanks so much for commenting. I didn’t mention this in my post, but along with a couple books for my daughters I also picked up The Art of Racing in the Rain in paperback at the bookstore. I’ve heard such wonderful things about your novel that I couldn’t help myself! 🙂

  16. June 11, 2009 9:09 am

    There’s no indie bookstores near me (closest is about 45 minutes away) but I do buy indie online.

  17. June 13, 2009 5:40 pm

    (P.S. May I add your site to my blogroll? : )

  18. June 17, 2009 7:41 am

    Unforunately my book stores’ situation is similar to yours. As much as I would love to buy at local book stores, there aren’t any where I live. The closest one is Borders and it’s stil 20 miles away from my home. I don’t even know where the closest Indie store is. If things weren’t so bad (meaning people not really buying or reading all that much nowadays), I would open one myself.

  19. June 23, 2009 10:33 pm

    I’ve just joined the Indie Bound blog group too, and I’m lucky enough to have an independent book store about two miles away. I lke the idea of supporting local business, so I’m trying to do more book shopping there. They also have a used book exchange program, which is fun.

  20. June 29, 2009 4:39 pm

    As a former independent bookseller I certainly make an effort to frequent my local independent shops, though of course my purchases are not exclusively made there.

    Shopping at independent stores is easy to do in a big city (I live in Toronto), but once upon a time it used to be one of my favourite things about visiting small towns – to see their quirky little shops, what they sold, how they displayed. Unfortuantely they’ve become harder and harder to find, for a variety of reasons largely attributable to the big box stores.

    Always support your local independents, kids! 🙂

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