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How much do we value local bookstores?

One of my favorite types of stores are bookstores, particularly independent ones. I can spend hours soaking up the ambience, browsing through books, and sipping a warm cup of tea in the café. However, like many people, I have used Amazon many times (often not for books) because everything is at your fingertips, and of course the items are comparatively cheaper because of low overhead costs. Amazon’s latest strategy of an app for smart phones that encourages people to scan the barcodes of books at bookstores (and then compare prices with Amazon and buy online on the spot) has caused me to reflect on the impact my occasional purchases – combined with millions of other peoples’ purchases – are having on my beloved local bookstores.

I have already noticed the closing of bookstores and other small businesses in the areas I have lived in during the past few years. But it’s not just about bookstores – our purchases based on convenience and cheap prices have an impact on all kinds of local stores, the livelihoods they support, and the numerous other tangible and intangible ways they contribute to the fabric of communities. To what extent are the purchases of convenience worth it, if this means losing the charming places that shape the character of neighborhoods?

Do the abundant sources of cheap items result in us purchasing too much of what we don’t need from large corporations and leave us unwilling to pay true prices for meaningful shopping at small businesses – businesses that are invested in the communities they are part of? Learn more here: Local Bookstores Ask Customers To Boycott Amazon Over New Price Check App Offer


Shumaisa Khan

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1 Comment

  1. Geoff

    Entirely agree Shumaisa. Convenience has won the day. I remember the host of small bookshops twenty years ago in Brighton – they had an incredible atmosphere. This had drastically declined when I moved here a little over 12 years ago. Corporate chain Borders was a social meeting place and emporium of browsing which went the way that I suspect even the mainstream bookshops will go. Everything

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