A friend sent me an email yesterday linking me to an article in the New York Times called “The Bookstore’s Last Stand.” It’s talking about how Barnes and Noble is the last brick-and-mortar chain that readily has a large selection of books available for people to come in, browse, and buy. About how the Nook is a way that B&N has tried to compete with Amazon, and how the company is even starting a new line of stores where there is nothing but digital content for Nooks being sold. But the fact is, Amazon has lower prices, and even a big chain like Barnes & Noble is losing ground to them more and more every day. You all know what happened to Borders, after all..
The bookstore’s last stand, indeed.
I knew of course, that most of this was true before I even read the article, but it still hit me deeply. After all, I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. I still hope to see my books out there someday, and yes, I hope to see them in print. That’s been my dream all along, not to see my book on a million digital screens, but to hold it in person, smell the pages and the ink and my own name right there on the cover.
Besides that, I love, love, love bookstores. I can spend hours in a bookstore, just looking at the spines of these lovely, literary friends and finding new authors and stories to delve into. Just being around stacks and shelves full of books makes me feel like I’m walking through a world of endless possibility. Because really, anything is possible in a book. And because I’ve spent my whole life loving books, I love everything about them—the design, the fonts used for the titles, and did I mention the smell of the pages? Oh, I did?
So I thought maybe we, as readers, should be taking a stand, too. It’s time we show our bookstores some love.
And hey… look at what time of year it is. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, the day meant especially for love. No matter how you feel about V-day, we all love books, right?
So here’s my proposition: If you’re a book lover, if you’re a supporter of the written word, if you’re an author or hope to be one someday—Buy a book on February 14th.
Really, it’s that simple. I know times are tough—they’re tough for me, too. I think it’s time we tell the book industry that we like having brick-and-mortars around, though.
So do this for me, will you? Go into a real bookstore. A brick-and-mortar. It doesn’t have to be Barnes & Noble—if you have an Indie bookseller nearby you, all the better! (No Indies near me, sadly!) Support the local selling of books in a hardformat. Even if you LOVE your Nook/Kindle/Kobo/whathaveyou.
If you absolutely have to buy online, buy through IndieBound (which will connect you to an Indie seller) or through BarnesandNoble.com. But really, I’d like for this to be about supporting brick-and-mortar stores, if we can.
(If you want more reasons not to buy through Amazon, if you can help it, here’s an article on how shopping at Amazon steals from your local economy. )
So how about we make this an official movement? How about we show some support to brick & mortars all around.
Just to be clear on this, this isn’t a competition or a contest. I’m getting nothing out of this. It’s simply an invitation to support your local brick-and-mortar bookstore! Don’t do it for me! Do it for them!
And hey, spread the word! Grab a graffic, blog, tweet! Use a #booksareforlovers hashtag! Let’s see if we can get this to be a worldwide thing!
What do you all think? Think we can do this? Are YOU willing to share some book love this Valentine’s Day?
Edited to add: Now we have a facebook events page! Go sign up and invite your friends!