What’s the best day to shop at your local, independent bookstore? Any day they’re open!
But today a little more than most. Today might be a good day to bring along a friend or share your book haul on social media. It’s Independent Bookstore Day.
It seems obvious to me that having actual brick and mortar bookstores in my town is a good thing.
It seems obvious that an independent bookstore owned by people in my community whose profits stay in my community is a great thing.
But my local independent bookstore is more than a place to buy books. It’s one of the spaces where the people who live in a town become a community.
It’s children sitting criss-cross-applesauce listening to their new favorite book. It’s two students comparing notes over tea. It’s a group of friends learning a new board game on game night. It’s a woman who’s finally found a writing group that’s just her speed. It’s an excited reader standing in line to get a book signed by his favorite author. It’s lines of poetry nervously recited to an enthusiastic and friendly crowd.
If there were no indie bookstores, we’d still get books. They’d come discounted and delivered in banged-up boxes on our doorstep with a single air-filled packing balloon. We’d still enjoy them, still live within them. But there is something of value beyond that box on delivery day.
Maybe you don’t care about the creak of a hard-wood floor under your feet or the smell of cinnamon and bound pages. Maybe you don’t want anyone to ask if you need a complimentary bookmark or to point out the staff recommendation shelf with the handwritten notecard love-letters hung beneath each copy.
But if you do care about all those things, this is a great day for you to show it.
Billings locals, check out This House of Books at 116 N 29th St. And for those in other places, feel free to shout out your indie bookstore in the comments here.