You Are Not Alone: How To Support Local Independent Bookstores

Dear friends,

Most of our quarantine day dreaming has revolved around browsing and lounging in bookstores. The smell, the energy, a cup coffee nearby—I'm uncertain of the science, but surely time completely and absolutely stops.

Being in quarantine has disrupted the bookstore experience we're familiar with, but to be certain those bookstores will be there in the near future, we must adapt. Every town's local bookstore has a different situation, but here are some ideas that might help fulfill your book needs while bringing money to small and local independent bookstores.

Happy reading,

Order Online or By Phone
Some local bookstores have websites that allow you to order books online (or call to place an order) and either have books delivered to your door or are available for curbside pickup. Those that are currently not set up to sell books on their website (often the smallest of bookstores) likely set up a Bookshop or IndieBound account that gives them around 30% of the cut when you purchase through them. Just search the bookstore name and click on "shop."
Gift Cards
While you're on your local bookstore's website, consider figuring out how to purchase a gift card for a future rainy day. If you don't see this option, shoot them an email or give them a call. You might be able to figure out other ways you can directly support them, too. You won't regret it.
Donate to Booksellers and Bookstores
The non-profit organization BINC (Book Industry Charitable Foundation) just launched two campaigns for booksellers and bookstores that are impacted by COVID-19: the #HelpABookseller campaign which will provide funds for booksellers across the country, and in partnership with James Patterson and American Booksellers Association the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign. To donate to #HelpABookseller, go here. To donate to #SaveIndieBookstores, go here.
Social Media
Most bookstores are doing really fun recommended reading lists or engaging with folks in refreshing ways. Consider giving them a "follow" and keep up with new ways they're trying to connect with you. The best part about connecting with your local store on social media is that, even though sometimes you can't afford to purchase, retweeting / reposting / sharing their posts can help expand their audience and hopefully bring them more business.
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