As a former employee of an independent book store, and a current member of a small-town community, I am acutely aware of what a big difference it makes when you shop locally, especially if you don't live in a big city. I know a lot of people out there are frantically shopping for last-minute holiday gifts right now, and I'd like to make my pitch for spending your hard-earned money locally this year, when at all possible.
- Spending your money in local businesses keeps your friends and neighbors gainfully employed, and keeps your tax dollars circulating within your own community.
- Buying local goods means less packaging and less fuel is required to get your gift to your house, and ultimately results in a smaller carbon footprint. (Unless you're buying, like, a lear jet, I guess. Your call on that one.)
I know it is not always possible to get exactly what you need from your local shops, and that sometimes it is hard not to quickly hop online to make your purchase. I'm not saying I've never purchased anything online. I'm just encouraging my friends to do what they can to support their neighborhood businesses where possible, because especially in these tough economic times, it does make a difference.
Now I'll stop preaching and take this opportunity to link to a few great independent bookshops that I have known and loved...
Iconoclast Books - Ketchum, Idaho
Kramerbooks and Afterwords - Washington, DC
Chapter One Bookstore - Ketchum, ID
Chaucer's Books - Santa Barbara, CA
Bookman's Alley - Evanston, IL
Politics and Prose - Washington, DC
Elliott Bay Book Company - Seattle, WA
Powell's (duh!) - Portland, OR
If you're not lucky enough to live near any of these fine shops, then click here to find an independent bookstore near you!