In the time it takes you to read this sentence, Jeff Bezos got even richer. Not to get all “You’ve Got Mail” on you, but Amazon is killing independent bookstores. Need proof? Look no further than the Don’t Box Out Bookstores event, which featured installations at local bookstores around the country and launched in conjunction with Amazon’s Prime Day:
According to the American Booksellers Association, Amazon doubled its net profit this year, while “more than one independent bookstore has closed each week since COVID-19 shut the country down.”
The rallying cry is clear: You have purchasing power, and if you want local bookstores to exist in a post-COVID-19 world, you need to support those bookstores now.
If you’re like us, you still have a stack of books that you purchased early in lockdown and you’ve been consistently adding to that collection, regardless of whether you’ve read the first pile. Or maybe you’re not reading at all right now (zero judgment; we’re all just trying to get by here). What we’re trying to say is, if you want to support independent bookstores without actually buying, well, books, there are other ways to do it.
And, spoiler alert, those ways are very stylish. Light-years ahead of the popularized merchandise movement of the moment, bookstores have always had incredible merch that extends far beyond tote bags and mugs (although those are great, too).
Below are 13 fashionable ways to support independent bookstores around the country. And be sure to look for merchandise from your local bookstore, too.