Supporting Indie Bookstores During the Outbreak

Hey book nerds! Things have gotten real crazy in just the past week. It seems our status in some areas has escalated quickly, which is good for preventative measures. My thoughts and prayers are definitely with those who are affected by this virus, whether they are sick with it or are out of work/school because of it.

One of the types of businesses affected by this virus and everything is bookstores; the independent ones. While Barnes & Noble, Amazon, BAM!, and more have easily accessible websites and ebooks, some bookstores don’t. While they might have a website, they might not have ebooks that you can purchase to read on your device. So how do we support them through a time of quarantine and social distancing?

Buy gift cards/certificates

If you can get online to purchase a gift card for yourself or a loved one, definitely do so! This will also ensure that at some point you’ll get there to use that gift card, which might lead to extra purchases.

Stock up while you can

If you have books you know you want now and your local store is still open, go in quickly and get them before they close or you’re confined to home. Some stores are offering curbside (you put books on hold ahead/pay online ahead) and the bookseller will bring them out to you. I know of at least one bookstore in my region that is offering this right now for those who do not want to go inside the store.

Pre-order books online

Maybe the books you want aren’t out yet. Why not order them ahead online at your favorite indie store to give them some support and then later you’ll be rewarded with your book!

Sign up for their newsletter/follow on social media

Keeping up with store news will keep you up-to-date on closings, events, re-openings, or campaigns to keep them alive during this time (and the future). This will show them they have a good following and a reason to try to stay in business.

Campaigns/fundraisers/being a local activist

Start up a campaign or fundraiser to keep your favorite indie bookstore alive if you are able to. Or rally up the community to do so. If your local government has a plan to support local businesses during a time like this, see if you can get involved somehow. Show that you care!

Of course, this doesn’t just pertain to bookstores. Any local business can use your help at a time like this. Support them in anyway you can! And stay healthy doing so!

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