When I worked as a Marketing Director in theatre, I always tried to tip my hat to competing troupes in our area because the overall health of the industry made for a stronger organization. So while I didn’t want the theatre across the street to “outshow” us, neither did I want them to fail … know what I mean? Bookstores probably operate on the same theory.
I was always a Barnes & Noble girl, until Borders opened three miles from our house and we could reduce our carbon footprint and ride our bikes there and back. Then I was a Borders girl. Well, the $25 annual membership for B&N sucked compared to the free one at Borders … and Borders had kickin’ cinnamon scones. Those also helped me be a Borders girl. Plus the closest independent bookstores were 20 miles away in Raleigh or Pittsboro, or 25 miles away in Durham. Not much choice.
But now my sleepy little town of Apex has its own independent bookstore, All Booked Up. They’ve also got gently used books and collectibles, which are also kind of cool for the bookish crowd. They’re sitting in a perfect spot in the middle of the historic downtown business area, with a beautiful storefront. And last year they started their own publishing company, Peak City Publishing. They’re a happening place. And I hope a place that keeps on happening for many, many years. For the health of the literary industry; for the health of the Town; for the health of my peach of mind; and for the fossil fuels I’m not burning when I ride my bike.
But like the theatre world, other readers seem to have the same thought in mind: support independent, local booksellers. The independent book world seems to be doing pretty well. In fact, I enjoyed this post: With the Death of Borders, What is the Future of Independent Booksellers? I was also pleased with The Charlotte Observer’s coverage of Park Road Books, particularly co-owner Sally Brewster’s declaration, “We’re in excellent shape.”
So make sure you support your local bookstore. It’s good for you, and it’s good for the industry.