The best place to go on a book hunt!
What does an independent bookshop offer? If you have ever been to an independent bookshop you might recall going in to find an amazing selection of books, signed copies, gifts, stationery and toys. In an ideal world there would be a café where you can read your newly discovered find.
When it is an independent online you get to browse in the comfort of your own home. Many of the books have been bought because they have received good reviews, they might have been read by myself too.
You can ask for books and recommendations, a dinosaur book for a toddler, a Piratey Christmas adventure or a dragon detective mystery for middle graders. I am part of an incredible community of book fans, this community is made up of authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers, bookshop owners, publishers and literary agents, printers and more. It's an enormous community and it ends with a book in the hands of the reader. What book might be right for you is quite personal but going to an independent might help whittle the choices down. We try our very best to help.
Previous to this I have found books for a parent with a little one with mixed heritage, searched for old favourites, sent books to France and Germany and so much more. I am a book collector and only read children's books, the last book I read is the Secret of Birds and Bones by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (she is a lovely person) and I have just started reading the Space We're In by Katya Balen. If I can pass just 1% of the joy I experience through books, I would be a very happy bookshop owner.
There is also a political and ethical side to shopping independent,:
I asked on twitter what is special about shopping independent and received so many amazing replies.
If you shop at an independent, it would be good to know your views. Why do you shop independent?
"I want people to buy from local bricks-&-mortar bookshops, or UK based online retailers. Why? 1. A monopoly is bad for consumers & producers. 2. Independent businesses cannot avoid tax like multinationals do. 3. Independent businesses spend profits back into the community." Blue Poppy Publishing
"Shopping independent I know that I’m supporting a real person/family & member of the community, not a faceless entity or worse yet, an entity whose profits may not be taxed and benefit the community."
"Shopping indie means that you are supporting someone who not only appreciates your order but that you can make an actual difference in their life. You also receive excellent customer service in return".@sunhippo1
"For me, it’s knowing who you’re supporting. The service is more personalised and I value hearing suggestions for future books too". @TJGriffiths
"Knowledge of what they are selling - you can go to an indie without a clue what to buy and they will find you by the right book" @Librarymice
We live in a small Suffolk town. No chains. The independent shops are the lifeblood. The quality is exceptional (fruit & veg lasts so much longer, meat is local & fab). During lockdown they were outstanding in their service, delivering to the door. So it's one word: community". @mrjamesmayhew Illustrator of the Gaspard books and many others.
"Shopping independent is about shopping with a person, not just a place. You get their expertise in their choices. When it comes to books recommendations are so important and trusting in the person who is recommending crucial. It's wonderful to build up a relationship." Lisa @2bookworm2
*" really personal service * more individual ranges * knowledge that more tax is paid * more money returns to local economy * less exploitative employment practices * more part of their community" @IndieBookshopUK
Thanks for reading. I hope this post provides a few reasons why shopping independent or local is such a good thing to do.