I don’t know if it’s just me, but since the beginning of quarantine, I have seen many Facebook posts from local bookstores asking for help. Mostly because the pandemic has slowed their business. I know the pandemic has effected our local bookstores in Utah. The King’s English bookstore in Sugarhouse announced on Facebook that they were launching a friend of the King’s English: where you can support their bookstore by making a monthly donation to them. Additionally, earlier this year The Printed Garden bookstore in Sandy created a GoFundMe account to raise funds to stay open.
I know that since the lockdown started a lot of us have been shopping online, specifically on Amazon, because it is convenient. Normally when you order books off of Amazon they are priced lower than those at independent bookstores. Even though Amazon can be cheaper and more convenient, they do not truly care about their communities as our local bookstores do. It is important that you continue or begin to support the local indie bookstores!
Bookstores in your neighborhood are great because they do what is best for the community because they are invested in it, unlike Amazon, a company that doesn’t have ties to your community. Local businesses hire people from their area, they put more money into their community, and they also run events that larger businesses are unable to. One of the best things about The King’s English, our very own local bookstore, is how many events they hold for the community. Before the pandemic, they would host book signings and they had book clubs that anyone can join. Even now during the pandemic they have still been doing what they can — reading children’s books over the internet, online book signings, and staying active on social media so that they can stay in contact with the community. This is why we need to support our local bookstores; without them, we will lose a part of our community.
Right now it might be more difficult to support your local bookstores right now because many of them aren’t open for in-store shopping. But that does not mean that we shouldn’t try. The first step of doing that is moving our online shopping habits away from big corporations when possible and switch to shopping through our local indie. You can order books straight from your local bookstore and have them shipped to you. If you’d rather not pay for shipping, both The King’s English and The Printed Garden are doing curbside pick up. Also, if you’re into audiobooks, you can switch from Audible to Libro. When you use Libro you pick a local bookstore so that some of the proceeds from your subscription go to your local bookstore! If you don’t have a local indie that you normally go through you can also use the website IndieBound to find an independent bookstore in your area. Because if we don’t shop through our independent bookstores now they won’t be around when covid ends.