Good news for brick-and-mortar bookstore owners, employees and patrons. November 10-16 is the inaugural Love Your Bookstore Week!
If, like me, you are a book lover, now’s your chance to join this celebration. Visit your favorite bookstore(s), take pictures of the books you love and/or want to gift during the holiday season, and, if you’re the social media type, post the photos on social media with the hashtag #LoveYourBookstore.
This is an industry-wide event. Full disclosure: the founding sponsors of Love Your Bookstore are Sourcebooks, Publishers Weekly, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Abrams, LitHub, Grove Atlantic, the Children’s Book Council, BookCon, and Libro.fm. Those are BIG players. You can read more about the event here:
I’ve been in Love Your Bookstore mode for a long time. A couple of years ago I added a “Bricks and Mortar” page to my website:
The page makes a pitch for brick and mortar stores in general:
Retail stores are the core of our towns and cities. Local brick and mortar businesses provide goods, services, jobs and gathering places for the rest of us, and the owners of these establishments shoulder the financial risk. I believe that we, as a society, should be mindful of keeping a balance between physical stores and virtual stores, lest we create ghost towns where communities once stood. Too expensive, you say? Look around you. Many stores offer discounts on special orders and best-selling items, not to mention clearance sales.
The page also lists bookstores that carry (wait for it!) my books and a link for finding an independent bookstore near you. If you scour the shelves but can’t find a title you crave, ask the folks at your bookstore if they can special order it for you. You can do this at used book stores, too, which is especially handy if the books you want are out of print. In Walla Walla, WA, we’re lucky to have both types of stores. Book & Game (http://www.bookandgame.com/ ) and Earthlight Books (http://www.earthlightbooks.com/) are my number one shopping destinations. Full disclosure: I’m also a huge fan of Bright’s Candies (http://brightscandies.com/), located within easy walking distance of both bookstores.
Books and chocolate- -what could be better? We can thank Iceland for Jolabokaflod, the “Christmas Book Flood” way of celebrating Christmas Eve that originated during World War II. Paper was one of the few things not rationed in Iceland during wartime. Since 1944, the Icelandic book trade has sent a book catalog to each household in the middle of November. People order books for their Christmas Eve giving (the main gift-giving day in Iceland). Once the gifts are unwrapped, everyone cozies up by the fire with a new book and a mug of hot chocolate to spend the evening reading!
To me, this sounds like heaven. And I’m trying my own twist on Jolabokaflod this year. My gift giving list will be dominated by books and chocolate, including an experimental online “book club” where several friends will receive the same book (but perhaps different chocolates as we’re somewhat divided on milk and dark). My hope is we’ll catch up through email sometime after the holidays for a lively discussion of that new book we’ve all read together.
Now, to wear out the path between Book & Game, Earthlight and Bright’s!