For those of you unfamiliar with this term, an independent or indie bookstore is a bookstore that is independently owned. It is a small business. I always feels like I’m preaching to the choir when I post about indie bookstores but then I discover that there are writers who don’t support their local indies. They do all of their shopping at Amazon.
Let that sink in.
Now I’m not going to say that I never shop at Amazon. I always have a peculiar variety of things in my cart. Most recently it has held orchid pots, chipboard, book binding glue, and a book. No, I don’t plan to buy it there if I can get it at one of my local indies. My Amazon cart may as well be labeled “things Sue doesn’t want to forget.”
But back to indies. The photo at top is from my absolute favorite indie – Front Street Books in Alpine, Texas. From my front door, it is a 16 hour drive. Sigh. But I still love it. Please forgive the glare. I took that in May. There’s a lot of sun in the high desert but this shop is an oasis of books, coffee and other treats.
The great thing about indie bookstores is that they are staffed by book lovers. Shop at an indie and you will find new-to-you authors and a sense of community. You won’t get the deal you’d get on Amazon but the author will receive a larger royalty and a local business owner will earn a living.
I also love that some indies offer really interesting services. At Shakespeare and Co in Manhattan, a special printer can print and bind a book, including a full color cover, in minutes if the book is not in stock.
I live in the St. Louis area. My indies include Half Price Books, Subterranean Books, Left Bank Books, and Main Street Books.
Not sure how to find an independent bookstore? Type your zip code into the Indie Bookstore Finder at Indie Bound (https://www.indiebound.org/indie-bookstore-finder) and you’ll get a list of the closest stores.