This Saturday, May 1st, has been declared Buy Indie Day. The concept is marvelously simple! Just buy one book—a paperback, hardcover, audiobook, whatever you want at an independent bookstore near you. Indulge yourself in that book you've been lusting for! Or, buy a gift for a a family member, a friend, a friend's child, a public library, a school library, an inmate, an absolute stranger. But make haste on Friday to your nearest indie! And if you can't get out, hop over to the Indie Bound website, click here and let your keyboard do your shopping! They even have a seriously handy store locator for you if you're not yet familiar with what's in your own neighborhood. If you're not, now is the perfect time to find out.
So, why shop at an independent when you can pick up books at any one of the chains at a discounted price? Well, according to our experts over at Indie Bound, when you shop at independently owned businesses, your entire community benefits. Here's how:
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. (Ouch!)
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.
More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.
Like many of you, Robin and I have had a longstanding love affair with the independents, and for the past three years during the month of May, we've have hosted a month long celebration of them for this very purpose-- to remind us all that price isn't the only variable to be considered in the book buying equation.
We've also used the month of May to spotlight your favorite bookstores that you love and recommend, and our grand finale at the month's end has been our selection of the Independent Bookseller of the Year. And we couldn't bear to pass up an opportunity to repost photos of them, link to their stores, and sing their praises. If you don't have an indie in your area, feel free to shop at one of theirs on-line this Friday.Our 2007 Winner: Kris Vreeland of Vroman's Books in Pasadena. Kris is the kind of bookseller that feels entirely comfortable standing in the book stacks hand selling YOUR books. As you can see, she is a big fan of one of our Violets, Lisa Yee.
Our 2008 Winner:Alex Uhl of a Whale of a Tale Book Shop in Irvine, California. Alex is an extremely fancy bookseller who has hosted former First Lady Laura Bush at her shop, and just about every rock star author and illustrator that you can think of. Her store donated over $40,000 in cash and merchandise this past year to local organizations.
And Our 2009 Winner: Hannah Schwartz of Children's Book World in Haverford, PA. I fell hard for Hannah hard for her during my interview when she said, "I'm extremely introverted and I dislike answering questions about myself." That is my kind of gal. Hannah loves nothing more that putting just the right book in the hands of a reader. (Pictured front row, right)
And look who was spotted shopping at the Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City three weeks ago! I'm guessing the President is very busy on May 1st with the White House Paypole and all, so wanted to get his shopping done early. I'm good with that! He picked up Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson and The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell.So now it is your turn to get in there and help them with the good fight to keep good books out there in the world-- on the shelves-- not in the computer. Not just the blockbusters, but all sorts of books. So get your iPhone or PDA or appointment book out right now and make a note for this Friday. Note to self: Help save the planet.. buy indie today!
Robin and I would love to hear where you'll shop, and what you're going to buy! Post your Buy Indie Day Plan and you might just be our winner-- a $25.00 book certificate at your favorite haunt.