❀ Why it is Important to Support Small Bookstore Businesses ❀


The term “support small business” has been passed this past year as a way to uplift marginalized communities and promote responsible consumerism. However, what does it mean when it’s applied to the book industry? How can we be responsible consumers to preserve the age of books?

Everyone wants to save money. No one wants to spend more money than needed for something they want. Large corporations like Amazon, Target, and Walmart make it difficult for small bookstore businesses to thrive since they offer more competitive prices. While it is tempting to purchase books at cheaper prices, there are heavy implications for such actions. 

Large corporations, such as Amazon, are negatively impacting small businesses by removing them from the equation. By selling their products for cheap, Amazon is making little profit but forcing small businesses to shut down because they can not keep up with the competitive prices. Although it might seem hard to turn down a good price, supporting small bookstores means supporting businesses that care about your books more than the profits. 

So how do we, as consumers, avoid supporting large corporations and help those small businesses when it comes to buying books? 


Purchasing From Small Bookstores

The most direct way to support small bookstore businesses is by continuing to purchase your books from local bookstores instead of large corporations like Amazon. You might save more money buying from Amazon, but when you shop at local businesses, you are encouraging the book business to thrive. Your money benefits the author and the bookstore who might need the financial support instead of large corporations who are only interested in making money. The extra few dollars you spend will do more in supporting the book industry and making sure it remains for a long time.

If you are unsure where to find local bookstores near you, you can use Indie Bookstore Finder to search for local bookstores near your location.

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Shopping on Bookshop.org

If accessing physical bookstores is a struggle for you, shopping on Bookshop.org is a great way to find books online while supporting small businesses. Bookshop.org is an online bookstore that gives 75% of its profits to indie books stores and authors. They currently only ship in the United States, so unfortunately this is not a viable support option for those outside of the states. 

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Encourage Others to Support Small Businesses

Supporting small businesses can be more costly than buying from big corporations. If you cannot afford to purchase books from local bookstores, you can still support them by encouraging others to purchase their books from there. Educating your friends, family, and acquaintances about the harm that large corporations do to the book industry can help encourage people to be more conscientious when purchasing their books. 


Interacting with Local Bookstores’ Social Media

Another inexpensive way to promote local bookstores is by interacting with their social media. This can look like following their account, liking and commenting on their post, and sharing their events. By promoting and interacting with their content, it will encourage their digital growth and bring in more consumers. 


Reading and buying books is a great way to support the book industry. The next step as a responsible consumer is realizing how your purchasing power can benefit the book industry even more. Buying from large corporations such as Amazon is more cost-efficient and provides more instant gratification because you are able to get your books cheaper and faster. However, supporting local bookstores can have huge benefits for the book industry, the author, and the retail sellers. 

However, purchasing from local bookstores might not be an available option for everyone. There are still ways to support your local small businesses without spending any money. Supporting these spaces is important in preserving the fragile ecosystem of publishing and can have huge benefits in the long term, both for the shops and for the readers. 

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