When Was the Last Time You Supported Your Local Bookstore?

Hello everyone. It’s me, Ollie. And James and I are back from our walk for the day. Yes, it may be February in Vermont, but we have virtually no snow — truly. It’s been the worst year that I can remember. Of course, this is only my second year, and last year was multiple feet of snow in which I got to play. This year, puff.

The good news is that it’s meant James has spent more time at home with me since he can’t go skiing. (Well, he could on man-made snow, but with limited trails and multitudes of people, so James has stayed home — yippee for me!! Oh, that got me a treat — Yeah!) For James, it has meant he has had more time to write and, drum roll please, to read. That’s right, one of the most important things writers can do, according to James, is to read, read, read.

This means writers need to purchase books. And not simply any books, but those that are physically present and found in bookstores. By doing this, James says, writers support one another, as well as their local brick and mortar bookstore that’s competing with digital booksellers. So, when James finishes typing this for me, he and I are heading off to Misty Valley Books in Chester, Vermont so he can buy yet another book to read.

Misty Valley Books (Photo Credit: Bill Reed) It looks like we’ve had lots of snow this year, but this picture is from a previous year.

I like to sit at James’ feet while he reads. Sometimes he’ll reach down and pet me, or I’ll get up and go get a toy to see if James will play with me — for a break in his reading. One way to take a break is to go to your local bookstore and browse the isles. For me, it’s great simply having him around. (Another treat — I’m on a roll!)

So, as James said, get up and go to your local bookseller. Buy a hardcover or paperback in the genre you write. It may enhance your own skills. Better yet, buy a friend’s book — even if you have to order it from the bookseller. All writers deserve one another’s support, and this is one way in which writers can accomplish that.

Village Square Booksellers

There are two other bookstores close to where we live: Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont. That’s three bookstores in close proximity. I bet there are some close to you as well. You can find them in the Yellow Pages or on Google.

Northshire Bookstore

Another thing to consider is the support that these bookstores can give you, as a writer, in return. All three of these bookstores have sold James’ books, and two of them gave him a reading. James says there is no better way to promote your book than by getting up in front of readers and gifting a portion of your story to them in the tone, inflection and decibel in which you wrote it. Most of the people who come to hear you will purchase your book, and stand in line to have you autograph it for them. James says there is a glow that begins with the first words out of his mouth and it doesn’t subside until he is driving home. You should try it.

James found this statistic but forgot the credit for it. He still wanted me to include it in this post since he thought it significant. I was hesitant at first since we should always credit sources, but I could be bribed. (Yes, a double treat has done the trick.)

“[T]he largest number of readers, 33 percent in 2013 and 35 percent in 2015, visited a brick and mortar bookstore twice in the past year. In 2013, the second largest percentage of readers, 24 percent, went once a month, while the second largest percentage in 2015, 26 percent, had not gone at all in the past year.”
(Source TBD and will be included if discovered.)

Wow! Twenty-six percent of readers didn’t go to a bookstore at all last year. And 35 percent went only twice last year. As writers, and readers, James believes you should visit your local bookstore at least every month, if for no other reason than to support the owners who are there to sell your books and sell you great literature. Writers need bookstores and bookstores need writers. Like I need James and he needs me. (Yes! Another treat. A trifecta!)

One last thing before I go. While James was skiing in Utah, he visited the bookstore in Park City. Its name is Dolly’s Bookstore, and it’s been there since James can remember. The even better news is that his friends bought books (plural number) while they were there. Maybe for James’ next book he’ll have a reading there, and I could go with him. He says they have cats roaming the store so I may not be able to go inside. But we can always ask.

Dolly’s Bookstore (Photo Credit: John Rist)

Your local bookstore offers many wonderful treasures, and they are well worth visiting frequently. They may even have a container of water for your four legged friends like me. It’s well worth the trip.

Let me know the name of your local bookstore and how often you visit. Also, what was the last book you bought there? I always like hearing from you, so please feel free to leave a comment.

Until next week,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com 
All photos © James Stack 2016 unless otherwise indicated



17 thoughts on “When Was the Last Time You Supported Your Local Bookstore?

  1. I must admit that I don’t visit bookstores much these days and do most of my shopping online for either physical or digital copies of books. But, your post has inspired me to go visit our local bookstore. I believe Malaprop’s is the one that everyone raves about in town, so I’ll have to make a visit. Thank you for sharing your experience with readings, it sounds very exciting, another great reason to go visit and get to know the bookstore owners. Loved this post—a very worthy cause—as writers we should definitely be supporting our local bookstores! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! We visit our local bookstores at least twice a month, if not more. Although my part-time job will be (again) customer service at a larger bookstore that is part of a chain, it is the most frequented bookstore in my area and I have a large reader base just from the short time I worked there before. I encourage everyone to go to bookstores and most importantly, to READ. It still amazes me when I realize how many people do not read books. At all. Thanks Ollie and James, and I hope one day I can come visit your lovely bookstores. They are so beautiful on the outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Salient points about writers supporting writers. I absolutely **love** to shop in bookstores, and prefer the mom-and-pop types to the big box stores. That being said… I live in the middle of nowhere. Hence, my fat Amazon tab. =/ But, I’m moving back to civilization this summer and part of what I’m looking forward to is being able to visit book stores without having to drive for an hour or more. My dream job would be to run a book store/gallery … so who knows what the future holds. 🙂

    Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you know where you’re going to be living come the summer? If so, you could look online for the bookstores that are near you, so you know now – how exciting!!! Ollie is chasing the tail he doesn’t have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I need to do that!! It is exciting, but also so much work… We’re going from Maryland (where it snowed today) to the SF Bay Area (where it is was 75 degrees last week when my husband was there). There’s got to be some excellent bookstores in that region!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always harbored a desire to own a little bookstore. At times I put varying degrees of thought into what I would need to make it happen. I love local bookstores and wish there were more of them than the large big name bookstores that seem to pervade. This is an awesome post, thank you so much for sharing! Local bookstores should be treasured.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. And if we order our books from them, it’s even better. I try never to order online so I can give my business to my local bookstore. Glad you liked Ollie’s post – even though he doesn’t have a tail, his backside is twitching, so, if he had a tail, it would be wagging.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post James! I LOVE bookstores — the quaint, one of a kind find where you’re not bombarded with loud B&N Starbucks’ crowds, rowdy children playing with toys and folks just out to be out and about socializing. We have a few wonderful and unique such bookstores nearby and I truly don’t get out to visit them enough. There is nothing like a good old fashioned bookstore where the sheer smell of books is enough to get me giddy!!


  7. I am at my local bookstore almost every week! Sadly, I can’t read that fast, so after a buying binge I had to put myself on a diet. So now I can only go in and buy one book for every couple I finish until my pile gets down some.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean – I always wanted to read as fast as Evelyn Woods (aging myself), but then I’d probably miss seeing so much in the writing. So I’ll be satisfied with my slow reading self.


      1. Yea, I can get through about a book a week and I also find that I am content with audiobooks too, so I listen in the car. I never really drive for more than 25 minutes except on rare occasions but I still find a well-done audiobook has lots to teach me about writing too.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love audio books when on a long ride, especially if the one reading it is either the author or an appropriate actor to the protagonist. I believe Frank McCourt read his memoirs in the audio books – I didn’t hear them, but a friend said they were fantastic. I can imagine they would be having read two of them.


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