I don’t watch a lot of television, but even I have already been blasted by ads from several dozen chain stores, showing me all of the stuff that my family and friends MUST find under their Christmas trees if they are going to continue to love me or believe I love them. It’s really hard for me not to shift directly into BAH! HUMBUG! mode when assaulted with visions of sparkling jewels (conflict diamonds, anyone?), women’s shoes with 4″ heels (we’re going to cripple ourselves to make our legs look good? Really?), and violent video games. Advertisers get away with it only because large numbers of us buy into it.
However, I am saved from total Scrooge-ness by the growing “Shop Local” movement. I have owned and/or operated more than one small business, and I can tell you that it’s rough going out there. Your local hardware store has Christmas trees, decorations, and all the latest tools and gadgets, but is competing with at least two giant chains. The small chocolatier and local bakery have wonderful treats, but you have to bypass the superstore in order to find them. I could go on, but you get my drift.
And books? Ah, yes. Books. Amazon.com is easy. It’s quick. I get it. Your local bookstore, on the other hand, employs actual (local) humans with actual knowledge about what is available and what this or that reader might actually enjoy. They also support local authors, many of whom write really interesting books that have no chance of ever seeing the inside of a chain store.
Here are some local bookstores that you might find it worth your while to check out. This particular list consists of bookstores in the hometowns of Twisted Road Publications authors, but chances are there is a really great bookstore in your hometown too.
Whether you’re looking for books, a new cordless electric drill, or a box of chocolates, please consider buying it from a local business. You’ll be glad you did.