Illustration for article titled Why You Should Support Your Local BookstorePhoto: Andriy Blokhin (Shutterstock)

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: give your local independent bookstore a helping hand. Most adults who are avid readers know deep down that supporting your neighborhood bookstore is a good thing – but when it’s time, pre-order a book or grab some last-minute titles for a weekend getaway to snap, you feel the attraction to Amazon. You don’t have to leave your home. It will arrive right at your door in a day or two, with no shipping costs. And yes, it’s even cheaper. But wait!

We know that helping local businesses of all kinds is good because a much more of the money you spend there stays local, there is less packaging and you reduce your carbon footprint. But when we have the opportunity, independent booksellers in particular deserve so many greetings.

The employees are very competent

Sure, you can get recommendations from your friends or read Goodreads reviews, but sometimes you want to talk to someone who is immersed in a variety of genres because you need some solid suggestions.

You may think you want to try reading a romance novel for the first time, but have absolutely no idea where to start. Or you might want to buy a gift for your older grandfather (who loves reading books about the world wars) or teenage niece (who is interested in graphic novels), but that’s all the information you need to pass on. If you’re a regular customer, an independent bookseller will likely learn your tastes too and provide you with a recommendation the next time you visit, a concept that is decidedly more personal than “other people who bought x bought y too. “

An independent bookseller is always up to date on what’s coming out and what’s popular so they know what to buy, read, and recommend.

G / O Media can receive a commission

Shopping there actually supports the book itself

When you shop at an independent bookstore, you are supporting the store and the new book and its author. Former Lifehacker staff writer Nick Douglas explains why:

Many books are published every year … [and] Booksellers have to assess which of these books someone wants to buy and have them in stock. You can’t just store everything in one warehouse like Amazon does.

So, if your favorite author isn’t a big deal just now – we’re talking about Danielle Steele – chances are your local store doesn’t have their new book in stock or is just sticking a copy or two on the back shelves in a prime location the front table.

But if you – and your fellow fans – pre-order the book, the bookseller has some tough evidence that there is a following and that they should have this book in stock and help promote it. You can even read the book to recommend it in person or host an event for the author.

Illustration for article titled Why You Should Support Your Local Bookstore

The ambience, people

Really imagine for a moment: What would life be like if we no longer had our favorite local bookstore? My local bookstore (brag: it is the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the country) is one of my favorite places. Almost every time I wander through my historic little downtown area, I drag my family in to buy a book because I can’t stand the thought of losing the feel of the business.

Independent bookstores are quaint and cozy. You will often have natural sunlight, fresh coffee, and comfortable chairs to curl up in as you decide whether the first few pages of this book will grab you. (You know what Amazon doesn’t have? Sunlight, a place to rest, and steaming hot slats, that’s what.) Yes, the books are more expensive – but you get what you pay for and what you get at a local bookstore is a book and a nice afternoon.

Also, they often host events with local writers or artists (yay for more local support!) And some of your favorite bigger name authors out on their latest book tour. So they offer you the opportunity to release your inner fan girl / boy.

If you’ve already lost your bookstore, I’m so sorry. You’re not alone; The New Yorker reports that – sobbing – more than one bookstore has closed every week for the past year. But if you haven’t lost yours yet, don’t let this happen to you.