Amazon is closing its physical book stores and here’s why it’s a good thing for ordinary consumers like you and me.
Last week, Amazon announced that it will be closing physical bookstores, “Amazon 4-Star” locations and pop-up mall kiosks.
For many years, the American Booksellers Association has been advocating and lobbying against the unfair and predatory practices of Amazon. The lobbying continues. Read here what the ABA says about the Amazon book store closures and more.
While this is a relatively small set-back in the steeping of Amazon into the fabric of American everyday life via their online commerce with all its logistics arms etc., and through its brick & mortar (Whole Foods, e.g.) expansion, it is a step in the right direction.
Buying from your local bookstore makes your local community stronger &
When you buy a book from your local, independently owned bookstore, you not only help keep the independent bookstore owner in the business, but you also
Invest in your own well-being
- You help the bookstore keep employing the locals. Circulating the money in your local economy strengthens your community and increases its well-being (as opposed to increasing the wealth of Amazon stockholders)
- You help enrich your community’s cultural and social life. Bookstores can attract interesting authors and speakers, author talks, book-buying events to benefit local non-profits (how dull would life be without those, and aren’t we all tired of attending virtual events!)
- You help build a locally engaged next generation that is invested in your community, this strengthens democracy and fosters accessibility and equality.
- You contribute to increasing the desirability of your town or community as a vibrant place to live, which supports the value of the real estate you might own in the town.
- Especially if you walk, bike or take public transport to your local errands or bunch them up in a downtown shopping run in your hybrid car, you could be contributing to a healthier environment with less packaging and transportation resources spent. (pure speculation here on my part…)
- You might continue to benefit from lucky encounters with strangers amongst the bookshelves in the store, from great book recommendations, from bookstore staff (for a book for that 11-year old granddaughter, for example)
A bonus for our readers
We recently surveyed independent bookstore owners about their collaboration with local nonprofits. They shared common challenges & many great tips on how to make the collaboration better.
We use the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services.
Let us put our money where our mouth is and truly support the SHOP-LOCAL movement in all areas of local commerce and do just that every single time you have a choice.
Open the door, walk in, and say hello.
That business owner and his or her staff will be thrilled to help you.
If you want to support independent bookstores under threat with straight financial help, go here https://www.bincfoundation.org/
Many local bookstores offer online shopping on the Indie Bookstores common platform, from where you can choose your local independent bookseller to buy books.
Want to share your bookstore’s experience with @mytowndoesgood and your colleagues ? – Join us in our discussion group.
P.S. I’m now in Finland, where Amazon delivers but is not yet omnipresent. I order and buy my books from our local bookstore in Turku, Kansallinen Kirjakauppa, because I know it will be no longer if I don’t. When I lived in Andover, MA, USA, I bought my books at Jabberwocky Bookshop or the Andover Bookstore. The latter is the oldest continuously operating independent bookstore in the United States.
About the Author
Founder and CEO
Merit Kuusniemi is the Founder and CEO of Ansio Global Goods Ltd. dba MyTownDoesGood.com connecting nonprofits and businesses for community good. Merit has decades of nonprofit engagement and entrepreneurial business experience in the U.S. She is now a startup entrepreneur based in Finland, a startup angel, advisor and board professional. Sign up to learn more about MyTownDoesGood.com