Why Go Local? Independent Bookstores Offer Personalized Hospitality, Handwritten Advice

By Kovtun, Rita | MinnPost.com, December 20, 2013 | Go to article overview

Why Go Local? Independent Bookstores Offer Personalized Hospitality, Handwritten Advice


Kovtun, Rita, MinnPost.com


Here in the Twin Cities, we belong to a fairly locally and liberally minded population. In the realm of food, we've taken the commonly heard slogan "buy local" to heart; the Twin Cities is said to have the greatest concentration of food co-ops in the country. But as we finish up our holiday shopping, perhaps some of us without venturing beyond our computer screens, I want to remind my fellow Twin Citians about the wealth of independent bookstores in Minneapolis and St. Paul and why buying books, as well as food, through local sellers is worth it.

When Boulder, Colo., experienced massive flooding in September, I was concerned about injured citizens and flooded homes, but I also fought to quash mental images of the tiny, independent beat book shop submerged, waterlogged books and pages floating underwater. (Fortunately, it seems it survived). When I had stopped into the Pearl Street shop only weeks before, I could immediately tell the meticulously organized and preserved books reflected the bookstore's personality, which was inextricable from that of its owner - Tom Peters - who opened the used book and record store 23 years ago.

This personalization factor is a hallmark of independent bookstores across the board. Barnes & Noble offers its customers a table of recommended reading; an independent bookstore includes handwritten notes tucked into books, signed by staff members justifying their picks. There's only so much of a book you can view on an online preview, whereas a trip to the bookstore allows for browsing the shelves and flipping through pages yourself. In my experience, when looking for the perfect literary gift, local bookstore staff has always been happy to take keywords like "music" and "science" and translate them into tailored book recommendations.

And independent bookstores build community by hosting events and readings. Discovering new work becomes easier than ever when you can attend readings to hear pieces from the authors themselves. Bonus: If you like what you hear, you can snatch up a copy without waiting or paying for shipping, and more often than not, get it signed then and there.

Remember how hard Meg Ryan's character Kathleen Kelly fought in "You've Got Mail" for The Shop Around the Corner, threatened by big chain Fox Books, only to see it go under? Not all pushed-out-of- business bookstore owners find their Tom Hanks consolation prize, and the sad truth is Biermaier's Books, Cummings Books and True Colors Bookstore are just a few of Twin Cities indie bookstores to close up shop in recent years.

But the tangible reasons to complement the feeling good of shopping local can help prevent future closures - an effort made all the more valiant in light of the ever-growing monopoly bookseller Amazon acquiring recommendation-based website Goodreads this past year.

The tangibles

According to IndieBound, a community-oriented movement begun by the independent bookseller members of the American Booksellers Association, spending $100 at a local business keeps $68 of that in your community, whereas spending the same $100 at a national chain leaves only $43.

Yes, shopping for a book at your local independent bookstore is oftentimes more expensive than finding it online, but buying local allows the money to stay where you spend it -- creating more jobs, reinvesting taxes in the community, eliminating transportation and carbon footprint and bolstering a unique and thriving community. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Why Go Local? Independent Bookstores Offer Personalized Hospitality, Handwritten Advice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.