Booklovers know we can find a good book almost anywhere. Most of the time, we’re focused on the books themselves instead of whoever’s selling them. However, we need to pay more attention to where we spend our money. Shopping online is very convenient, especially with large companies that can ship books quickly and easily. But spending money at small and local businesses is better, including at bookstores. Keep reading to learn more about why you should support your local bookstore.
Shopping Locally Supports Your Community
We are all part of a community. Different communities can exist together in the same realm. For example, a religious organization is a community for everyone of that religion, but they may also have a specific community for young parents. This makes these young religious parents simultaneously part of two communities.
As a booklover in a specific geographical location, you are part of two communities: the book-loving community and the physical community you live in. Your local bookstore is a place for everyone within these two communities to gather and celebrate their identities. When you shop at this local store, you’re showing support for bookstores and for your physical community. Your support helps both communities thrive.
Supporting Local Bookstores Helps the Local Economy
One way that your support helps your communities thrive is economically. When you spend your money at any local business, including a bookstore, that money stays close to your local economy. Spending your money at small online businesses is still a great way to support entrepreneurs, but those businesses aren’t in your physical community like your local bookstore is.
How does the money you spend locally stay close to your local economy? The business owners live in or near your physical community, which means the money they make goes back into their store and other local entities, like schools and businesses. They also hire locally, so other people in your community can work and spend the money they earn at the bookstore nearby.
Bookstore Employees Are Helpful
When big companies hire people, they’re often more focused on having the right number of employees. They focus less on the personalities of those they hire. In contrast, small and local businesses know that their customer service is one of their most important qualities, so they pay extra attention to the personalities of their employees.
Your bookstore’s extra attention to their employees means they hire people who care about you as a customer and want to help you. When you walk into your local bookstore, you can ask for advice or other types of assistance. The employees will help however they can, and you may even leave with a fun new book to try. You won’t have those personal interactions shopping at big stores.
Many Local Bookstores Host Fun Events
Your local bookstore knows they’re an important part of the community, especially for booklovers and people with similar passions. Many local bookstores use this important community role as a stepping stone for hosting fun events. For example, some authors prefer to do readings and signings at local bookstores instead of chain ones. You may get to meet one of your favorite authors this way!
Every bookstore is different and will decide what events are best for them and the community. You may have the opportunity to sign up for classes, listen to interesting lectures, or participate in a self-care event. The more you visit your local bookstore, the more you can learn about potential events. As a regular customer, you may even get the opportunity to suggest event ideas.
In-Store Shopping Is Better for the Planet
Shopping in-person at your local bookstore doesn’t just let you learn about fun events; it also helps protect the planet. When you shop online and order books, the company must ship them to you. Depending on how far you are from the nearest warehouse with those books, the shipping may use lots of fossil fuels.
You will still produce emissions when you drive to your local bookstore if you go by car. However, you’ll pick up your books while you’re there. This short journey to a local business to pick up a product that arrived in bulk creates a smaller carbon footprint than the long journey a single book takes to your front door. Plus, if you can use an electric vehicle, public transportation, or a bike, then that shrinks the carbon footprint even more.
Too Many Local Bookstores Closed During the Pandemic
The world changed a lot during the global COVID-19 pandemic. One unfortunate change that happened in many communities was that local businesses closed, including bookstores. The people who worked so hard to achieve their dream of owning a bookstore and making it a part of the community had to close their doors. Closing was sad and difficult, and many local bookstores never reopened.
If you’re lucky enough to have a local bookstore nearby, then shopping there can inspire people that pandemic closings aren’t permanent. Owning and running a bookstore is still possible. People can still achieve their dreams. Encouraging entrepreneurs this way helps your community continue to grow, and local businesses can make your area more unique.
You May Find Something Else You Love Besides Books
Many businesses diversified their products to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic. Your local bookstore may have been one of them. They may sell notebooks, writing utensils, school supplies, candles, and snacks in addition to the obvious books.
These additional items are often carefully curated to go with the bookstore, such as notebooks for aspiring writers and candles that smell like old books. When you shop at a local bookstore, you can look through these items and find something else you’ll love just as much as your books.
You should support your local bookstore because it’s unique. It helps the community and economy thrive, and you can experience more than just shopping when you go there.
If you’ve recently returned from your local bookstore and are ready to curl up with a good book, Frostbeard Studio has something to make your reading experience even better. Our old-book-smell candle is the perfect complement to a new book. It smells like aged paper, dusty shelves, and a hint of vanilla, making you want to read all day. Not that you needed another excuse!