Some Good News for Independent Bookstores in the New Economy
Indiebound.com mentioned a heartening story from the Boston Globe about an independent brick and mortar bookstore in Coolidge Corner, Massachusetts that is succeeding in the face of direct competition from a major national chain rival.
Maybe this is an isolated case, but I tend to believe that the current economic environment is forcing people to make more careful choices about how and where they choose to spend their money. Considered spending doesn’t always mean finding the cheapest option, quality is part of any smart buy. In book purchases, part of quality is having someone with experience who can give you advise on how to spend your money.
The independent bookseller has always offered more than the carefully selected stock they offer on their shelves. They also offer personalized recommendations which often include advise on what not to buy. While I’ve had many intelligent friends that have worked at national chain bookstores, I know that the corporate book selling system doesn’t permit them to use their knowledge and experience to help customers’ make decisions. Independent bookstores foster independent thought, and the booksellers at those stores can give recommendations that won’t have voice in the corporate system.