Borders is in the process of no longer existing and it’s banned books week. Get thee to a(n independent) bookstore!
This morning, Amazon announced its new Kindle Fire Color Tablet and new versions of the Kindle and Kindle touch that are cheaper and shinier than the old versions! (The Fire Color is being called an iPad killer across the Internet, and people probably use iPads for things other than books and magazine subscriptions, but let’s ignore that for a moment.) There are lots of new things to buy that can let you buy books, so why not cut out the middle-electronic-device and celebrate Visit Your Independent Bookstore Day.*
According to the New York Times:
“‘The problem with bookstores is that the margins are pretty small compared to other retailers,’ said Oren Teicher, the chief executive of the American Booksellers Association, a trade group of independent bookstores. ‘That’s why you don’t see lots of our members in big national malls. The rents just don’t make it work.’
Most successful independents occupy spaces that are less than 10,000 square feet, Mr. Teicher said, and do not pay rents that exceed 10 percent of annual sales.”
And, of course, Borders is gone, and even large bookstores are increasingly stocking non-book items to stay afloat, and sometimes you just don’t want to deal with a love-hate Amazon relationship (sample internal monologue: I want the Kindle! Except I can’t get any of the books/magazines I want in Canada. Yet! Also look how cheap this book is! Except that mailing it might have made someone pass out. Also: the DRM thing. But also: shiny!)
It might not be possible to buy every single thing in your life from an independently owned company, because who has the time. But bookstores are fun, and they are even more fun when you don’t have to wade through 12 miles of glorified “homeware” to get to the good parts.
*I just made this up.
**Also ebooks are lovely! This is not an anti-ebook thing, this is a pro-adorable-tiny-bookstores-with-possibly-scowly-owners-and-large-queer-sections-thing.
Photos via Bookshelfporn.tumblr.com.