How to Support Your Local Bookstores
As you walk through the doors of your local independent bookstore, you instantly breathe a sigh of relief. Strolling through the aisles, leafing through pages of books on your TBR, enjoying a cup of coffee as you relax in your favorite weathered chair with a novel in hand—before you know it, hours have passed. You feel grounded, restored, and recharged, ready to take on your week.
Who hasn’t experienced this magical escape? Undoubtedly, independent bookshops are vital spaces in communities. Online book shopping will simply never replace the feeling of physically discovering your new favorite book. Here are a few ways to show some love for your local indie bookstores.
Share bookstores’ content on social media
Give your favorite bookstores a shoutout on social media. Sharing a business’s content can help increase their followings and, in turn, their customer bases. If you purchase a new book from the shop, share a photo or video of the book on your account, tagging the business and encouraging others to support the bookstore.
Set aside a book fund to support your local store
Regularly purchasing books can quickly become expensive. If you’re on a budget, consider setting aside a book fund each month to support your local bookstore. Whether you can afford to spend $10, $20, or even $100 per month, every little bit helps an independent business survive. Tip: as you browse the store’s shelves, look for books on sale!
Plan book shopping outings with friends
Encourage your friends to shop small by visiting independent bookstores in your area together. As a fun challenge, compile a bucket list of stores to explore—set a goal to shop at one or two stores per month. This is a great way to discover unique gems where you live while supporting your local literary community.
Buy books from Bookshop.org
Want to support independent bookstores from the comfort of your own home? Consider purchasing books online from Bookshop.org. Select the local store you want to buy from, or purchase directly from the Bookshop.org website, which adds your money to a pool supporting all independent bookstores in their system.
Join a book club
Most bookstores regularly host book clubs, which provide an opportunity to meet other literary enthusiasts while supporting your local shop. Choose a club you have an interest in or one with a topic you want to explore.
Attend or help organize bookstore events
Besides book club meetings, independent bookstores typically host various events, such as author book signings. Check your local store’s calendar for upcoming events you’d be interested in attending. If you’re part of relevant organizations (poetry groups, literary societies, etc.), see how you can partner with the store to host events in their shop.
Besides patronage, ask your bookstore how you can support them. The shop might have specific needs you haven’t considered. They’re the experts! On the other hand, if you own an independent bookstore, consider joining the American Booksellers Association (ABA)—members receive valuable business resources to help them succeed.